Quality of Shinwa swords?

by Scott Zimmerman
(Minnesota)

QUESTION: I have seen Shinwa katanas on several online stores. They sell for $159.00 to $279.00. They claim to be fully functional (high carbon steel, tempered, etc.). I have seen them in enough places that I am surprised that I can't find any mention of them, good or bad, on this site. Have they been overlooked, or are they just not worth mentioning?


ANSWER: The 'Bud-K' swords... ;-)

You pretty much hit the nail on the head there. Compared to what else is available on the market in this price range, they really aren't worth a second look...

Comments for Quality of Shinwa swords?

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Not as bad as you think smart guy!
by: Anonymous

I just got one of the carbon steel katanas for the dealer price. They are retailing now at around $90. I am a Cold Steel dealer and have bought their katanas. The bud k Shinwa sword is a total steal at $90. I mean it will do the job. Not quite as fancy as the cold steel but fully functional to say the least!

well then
by: the don

I disagree Scott, considering the response you got, "they really aren't worth a second look", doesn't give you much to go on. I own the a damascus one along with other swords that range from this swords price to a masterpiece that was made to my personally requested specs. Bottom line, for a high output, hand-made sword, its construction is solid and it's blade is quality, in terms of beautiful lines and cutting ability.

Shinwa katanas
by: Antiposer

i own a $3000 Katana it the real deal and i just got one of the $80 Shinwa Katanas just to see how they are and let me tell you its a great sword so i would say if the $80 is great the others must be even better...

Quality v. Need
by: Ratt

One of the biggest modifiers to this question would be: what are you going to use it for?

Most of the Katana's I personaly sell (out of a booth at the Renn Fest) are to look preety... and yes, many of the Shinwa Swords look nice. But for fancy there are cheep 440ss swords that do a better job of it.

Many people want to use them in martial arts, and Shinwa swords (excepting damascus) are good for this use, for a while, they will eventualy crack if you're using them for cutting.

For collections, the damascus are alright, and if you can get one for less than $250.00 then it's an alright deal.

For a real, quality, katana you could easily do worse, for a worse price, but Shinwa is deffinitly not in the top ten.

cold steel
by: Anonymous

shinwa is no conparison to cold steel, if you are a cold steel dealer as mentioned and have handled both swords you would know that.

RE 'Not as bad as you think, smart guy'
by: SlayerofDarkness

Ok...first off, whether or not you are correct (which by popular opinion of REAL experts, you are most certainly NOT!) you have no right to insult Paul as you did. Now, you may have received a rare 'gem in the junk', as they say, but, generally speaking, Shinwa are worthless compared to other swords in the sub $100 price range. Cold Steel is far better, and someone who actually sold Cold Steel products would know that. I apoligize if this is offensive to you, but please recognize that I'm not just spouting off; my comments have a good deal of validity. Thanks to Paul for such a great site, and thanks to anyone reading this for, well, reading this.
Hope this helps,
SlayerofDarkness (Brogdon Combs)

sinwa damascus quality?
by: new guy

after reading the comments here am I to think that the shinwa damascus blade is an exeception?

from someone that makes blades for fighting
by: Anonymous

wow people really don't like Shinwa huh...well I picked up a heat forged folded blade that people call Damascus and sometimes I do as well...but its not...to the point I use my blades for my Escrima and Wing Tzun Chun MMA training I have made and used many types of steel from a mild steel to the extreme high carbon top five "Rockwell Hardness Chart" steels like I donno...1090 was fun but my first try I crystallized it lol...My blade broke in contest...sucked...but I digress...the Shinwa is not the best I understand this but to get the best you would pay around $10,000 or more easy...if you have it great I don't so I mak'em and yeah I gota Shinwa or two they do the job. So I guess what I am saying is quit complaining If you don't like them fine but keep your mouth shut...that’s someone’s work and time that went into that blade...show respect to all blades cept for the shitty wall hangers that a machined out of a press…I have cut through to many of those to have any respect for them and the cost Ohh My god… anyway hoped my little rant helped some people later.

hmmm...
by: Blade Maid

It makes me wonder if people don't give a sword a second look just because its in a BudK catalog. Which is pretty said if its the truth. If you are looking for a pretty looking collection sword, you can choose one of their "Damascus" katanas and you'll do alright. Obviously there are better more functional katanas out there around this price, Musashi being an example, i wouldn't just brush Shinwa aside just because they sell through BudK. That's just pretty snobby and juvenile. If you want to find out what the quality of Shinwa swords are for yourself, spring the 90-100 bucks and buy one. buy a pretty looking one, so that just in case you're disappointed, it will still look nice on display. "They're not worth a second look" is a little silly. They're on every other page of the budk catalog, so its kinda hard to miss them. theres my two sense. Cheers to all, and thank you Paul of your wonderful site!

Blade Maid
www.blademaid.com

The quality of Shinwa Blades
by: Anonymous

To all of you out there who are quote-unquote EXPERTS, on Blades, Swords, ect. Remember this, a True Kenjitsu Master can hold in his hands an $80.00 sword and one of you EXPERTS can hold a $25,000 blade, in the dance of death who would win? End of this silly debate!!!!

Shadoe
in Seattle, Washington

See for yourself before your forge your opinion
by: Geo

I own a Cold Steel katana and a few Shinwa katanas. Let me just start off by saying that I agree that you can feel the difference between a cold steel and a Shinwa Katana. The cold steel feels like a light saber that will cut anything at the slightest touch, whereas the Shinwa has a more personal traditional feel. Shinwa is more to the point, so to speak. Shinwa focuses quality where it is due, in the blade and construct of the sword and not in making it look overly extravagant. I look at Shinwa as a jump down on the ladder from Cold Steel, but in a way that makes the sword more affordable without compromising the quality too much. I took my 1060 high carbon steel Shinwa katana outside for a few swings to test it's cutting ability. It hacks through melons and pumpkins like butter, as even a decent stainless steel swords should do. I hit a hard half-alive half-dead tree branch without much swinging room and made a nice cut in the branch. I didn't sever it, but the branch gave me the idea of how the sword would hit something hard. The branch's living dead status made it hard and yet flexible, so cutting it is difficult. I checked the edge of the sword and aside from a couple of scuff marks the edge was undisturbed. I think they are worthy swords considering how many crappy swords are out there for a similar price. Bud K has a lot of cheap low quality stuff, but knowing what to look for from them is the way to go since they do have decent prices occasionally. They do also sell Cold Steel products for good prices. I got my Cold Steel Warrior Katana from them for $250! I wish I bought 2 because I think they realized that they were undercharging for the sword, because a couple days later I checked the price and it went up to $360! The Shinwa swords used to be $179. When they went down to $80 I became interested, and became more interested when I actually got one. Quality is important to me especially since I gave them to friends as gifts. I will let you know if one breaks on me. I don't plan on doing major abuse tests that Cold Steel does, but I plan on pushing the envelope on mine to see what it can do, so far I have yet to be disappointed.

Its good
by: Addemis

I have 1 its a good sword to start out with.

Bud K
by: Anonymous

I hate to break it to everyone but Cold Steel is sold in BudK as well. They even at one point, 5 years ago, carried Hanwei.

shinwa- good
by: duzell

yes i bought one of those shinwa from bud k and i have to say its sword deign carries no flaws against one of my traditional swords, edged right and nicely polished, scabbard is hard wood and the sword can pretty much withstand any sword to sword combat so i give it a good rating - the swords offer a high quality at a low cost and with so many fakes out there its better than nothing for those beginning at sword collecting and price for those who are debating if shinwa 90$ vs a 25000$ sword can shove off, i struck my shinwa 1060 with an old japanese hand forged sword in maintained battle ready condition (folded 5000 times)and neither blade had much to show from a full over head strike so as quality goes shinwa has superbly come neck and neck with the master swords out there

-then i had both swords polished - waxed -oiled and put back on display-

hate to break it to you
by: johnny

COLD STEEL IS OVER RATED yeah i said it i did i side by side test of a cold steel sword that cost bout 400 and a shinwa that cost bout 160 and the shinwa cut far better now before i get hate mail i will say that the cold steel is a fine sword but not as bad ass as people say

nice
by: Gorg

i don't know about you guys.. swords are sick.. but ill get a katana that ill carry on my back, under my arabic atire, head and face covered, with a scimitar on my side, traveling across arabia, to the Holy Land, horse or camel-i have yet to decided. --- now tell me that's not a fucking adventure, and im gonna do it i swear.
so what do you guys recommend about craftsmanship? 1090+ tempered carbon steel i hear? were can i buy a scimitar with the same strength?

i am pleased
by: Anonymous

I am an avid practitioner of the japanese arts, and have been training with a katana since i was 6 years old (father = instructor). i purchased a shinwa blade several years ago, and have used, and abused it on a constant basis. I have been quite pleased with it, the blade is strong, and well tempered, the mountings are solid, and traditional, the tang is in the kiri-ichi-monji tradition, and very sturdy. it cut well right out of the box, and has continued to cut well with minimal time spent sharpening. the blade is now severely scratched, but still very functional, and i am in the process of polishing it. having used swords ranging in price from $5, to $6,000, and ranging in age from brand new, to Edo period, i have to say, that shinwa makes a nice blade that is comprable to the traditional ones of old.

are there better? yes! cold steel is still my favorite, but shinwa blades are far more economically favorable, and will cut anything which the katana was desined to cut. cold steel may cut through a car door, but ive yet to encounter a situation where that is necessary.

in short.... shinwa gets my approval. its my sword of choice, the sword i use for cutting practice, and the sword i recomend to my students(and my students will tell ya, i'm a b!%@# when it comes to my blades.... only the best!).

i am pleased
by: Anonymous

I am an avid practitioner of the japanese arts, and have been training with a katana since i was 6 years old (father = instructor). i purchased a shinwa blade several years ago, and have used, and abused it on a constant basis. I have been quite pleased with it, the blade is strong, and well tempered, the mountings are solid, and traditional, the tang is in the kiri-ichi-monji tradition, and very sturdy. it cut well right out of the box, and has continued to cut well with minimal time spent sharpening. the blade is now severely scratched, but still very functional, and i am in the process of polishing it. having used swords ranging in price from $5, to $6,000, and ranging in age from brand new, to Edo period, i have to say, that shinwa makes a nice blade that is comprable to the traditional ones of old.

are there better? yes! cold steel is still my favorite, but shinwa blades are far more economically favorable, and will cut anything which the katana was desined to cut. cold steel may cut through a car door, but ive yet to encounter a situation where that is necessary.

in short.... shinwa gets my approval. its my sword of choice, the sword i use for cutting practice, and the sword i recomend to my students(and my students will tell ya, i'm a b!%@# when it comes to my blades.... only the best!).

Shinwa; good blade, lousy tsubas.
by: Kym F.

I bought a Shinwa 1060 steel sword from BudK, and I have used it for some rough cutting out in the woods.It cuts surprisingly well. The blade is strong, and well tempered. My only complaint is the furniture. All of their swords seem to have cheap, zink alloy tsubas,WHICH BREAK! Would it kill them to make a decent guard for a decent blade.A cheap steel guard would be acceptable. It's a pity.

Shinwa swords.
by: Anonymous

Shadoe's coment answers all my question,He speaks the truth.An expensive blade in the hands of a fool is foolish.....Robert ..Chippewafalls Wisconsin

Nice
by: Anonymous

I recently received A Shinwa katana as a present. I love it. The blade is strong(if a little bit on the inflexible side.) I've been a martial artist since I was a child and I like my blades. I train with everything, shitty or nice, because in a combat situation these techniques would be used with something else: Stick, baseball bat, pipe, poolstick, and different blades have varying balance points like "real-time" objects." I even broke 1 inch thick boards with a 1 foot pine dowel as a focusing practice. I like the balance of the sword. And, what the hell, because they used a mekugi-nuki design, all the furniture is replaceable, and this becomes custimizable like a PC. I'm looking now for an inspirational tsuba. The blade is sharper than any of my wife's expensive cooking blades, and that's plenty good enough for a blade that will never see "real" combat.

I mean...for the price...
by: *1-03

I got one of the Katana models. I am not a master or anything, but have a background in Japanese sword arts.

The Shinwa swords for the price are great USING swords. Yes, the "furniture" can start becoming loose at times, but in terms of the blade and it's cutting ability, what these swords are normally priced are well worth it IMHO. I have practiced live cutting many times with my Shinwa katana AND wakizashi, and they are still "alive and kicking"...er, cutting I should say. Besides:

IF I ever break one of these things due to improper cutting technique on MY part, it's great knowing that I can get another Shinwa without breaking the bank. I have tried Cold Steel ones, but heck for their MSRP, I'd rather get a gun...

Bottom line: Shinwa swords surprised me, and don't let the relatively cheap prices fool you...

damascus
by: Sluggo

I got one of the Shinwa damascus blade swords,cuts like a dream,don't know what it would do against another blade,don't care,
If it comes out of the scabbard in a pinch,it need not be a master quality weapon to hack off some would be assailant's arm.

Unidentified shinwa pudao/dadao?
by: Anonymous

Hey-o, I'm a near-broke first-time sword buyer. I've been looking for a cheap, battle-ready sword (read: sub-100) that won't kill me if used on something harder than paper. While looking through true swords, I found this (absolutely mis-identified) 'naginata' in their featured full tang section. Extensive net searching and follow-up searches of the forum here identify the manufacturer as Shinwa, who is uncredited on true swords. The reviews I've found of it claim it's pretty resilient, though on the dull-side for sharpness out of the box. Should I risk the buy?

Shinwa "Naginata"
by: kobodaichi52

This is in answer to the question about the Shinwa Naginata Sword. If you are talking about the item I think you are, then I can tell you that I have one, and unless you are an experienced swordsman, it might not be the right choice for you, especially if this is going to be your only sword for the time being. The "Naginata Warrior Sword" is a hugh, heavy, ungainly weapon, which is indeed made of high carbon, tempered steel; however it is so big and heavy that it cannot be used like a regular katana. This type of weapon was originally used on the battlefield to cut down a charging horse prior to dispatching the rider. It is a monster! If you are looking for a good differentially tempered katana for under $100, then take a look at Paul Southren's review of the new Musashi "Warrior" series in the February issue of "Sword Buyer"s Digest". I purchased the one with the Musashi style tsuba. They also come in the "Bamboo" style which is very attractive. I only paid $75 and I am quite pleased. The sword has a real hamon, and is capable of light to medium cutting. Of course Paul did a destruction test (you got to love this guy; he destroys swords so that we won't have to). It is a bargain,and I highly recommed it.

RE: Shinwa 'Naginata'
by: Anonymous

Would you say it handles more like a naginata, as it's described, or like a regular sword, then? I've got experience in both weapons

"Shinwa Naginata" handling
by: kobodaichi52

In response to the question about handling, I can tell you that I own a bunch of swords{both forged and stainless wall-hangers}, as well as two standard naginatas, and the handling of Shinwa's "Naginata Warrior Sword" is unlike anything I've ever handled, except maybe a Chinese Pudao. I use it in kata like a katana just to build up my strength. After handling this beast, my regular katanas feel like Bowie knives. It is really too heavy for anything other than berserkers bent on destruction. It weighs about as much as 3 naginatas, but on the plus side it only costs 50 bucks. If you can only afford one sword(under $100), I would really check out the Musashi "Warrior.

Closer exam of Shinwa Naginata Sword
by: kobodaichi52

I brought out my Shinwa "naginata sword" today just to compare it to my standard naginatas. I'm afraid I may have exaggerated about the weight. On closer examination I would say it is twice the weight of the regular ones. this is still pretty hefty. I get the feeling that a naginata is what you really want, and not a katana. If this is so, I wanted to let you know that BudK has a pretty decent one for just $15. At that price you could have the Musashi "Warrior" sword and the standard naginata for about a hundred dollars.

$15 BudK naginata
by: Anonymous

Seems I missed out on that sale. Thanks for the lead though.

I'd like to find a sub-100 carbon-steel naginata, but I can never find one that's appropriately sized for me other than Hanwei's, which is why the Shinwa 'naginata' was attractive; it's not a naginata so I wouldn't want to scream at it for being too short, but it seemed large enough to handle similarly, although it's substantially heavier. And at least it's one spolid piece; seeing a naginata that unscrews makes me physically ill. Maybe I could find a way to lengthen the shaft on one of the 63-inchers?


Shinwa Swords
by: Anonymous

As with any sword, our feelings and opinions regarding them is personal..I have purchased swords that range from the Black Prince ( Knight's sword ) to movie replicas for the sake of owning them..One sword I use on a regular basis is the ROYAL WARRIOR DAMASCUS KATANA by Shinwa..I have to say that this is truely a fantastic sword..I have put it to the test from sword play to slicing through brush..The blade remains sharp and the full tang construction remains intact..I would reccomend this sword to anyone who is looking for a functional sword for the price..

Trustworthy?
by: Jason

The Shinwa meets every criteria this website sets for a "good practical" sword, yet they are not reveiwed at all. They are dismissed as "not worth looking at" simply because they are sold at BudK? That makes me seriously doubt any information given on this site. (Especially since the Shinwa are sold at several of the "recommended" dealers!)
I own both the Hanwei Ninja-to and the Shinwa BlackKnight in damascus steel. The Shinwa is made from the same carbon steel and it is folded over 2,000 times. It is just is sharp and probably a bit more functional than the Hanwei! Actually research without bias or don't talk about it at all.

Hold the brakes
by: Anonymous

Before conclusions are jumped to, let's just remember that this particular article might be outdated. Even a span of five years is sufficient enough for a company to have changed their practices significantly, which it seems Shinwa has.

The fact of the matter is, most responses to this article have shown that owners of today's Shinwa blades find them to be functional and durable at competitive prices. It's entirely possible that Shinwa and BudK used to be disreputable merchants (or might still be), which is where the OPINION of this article comes up, but they aren't as bad today as they had been in the past.

Quality of Shinwa swords?
by: Robert K

A few months ago I purchased A shinwa black knight hi carbon katana from Bud-k for about$80.00 pretty decent sword for the mony.The hi carbon of the Black knight line was gona be discontinued.Thier fully functional and for the money pretty decent for light cuting.The Habaki came a little lose, it has some play,but for the price eh? What ya expect

the good and bad of shinwa
by: Tom K.

Ok,a buddy of mine has a shinwa ninjato his wife bought for him as a present.

this is the only shinwa sword I have cut with but a local store (where I used to live a year ago) carried several Shinwa swords at any time and I was often allowed to handle them (never to cut).

the steel shinwa uses for their blades seems to be of decent quality, even the folded ones (it ISN'T damascus no matter what anybody says)

most of them have decent edges.

many of them are rather attractive at a glance (but much less so if you look closer or are the sort of guy who has an eye for authentic detail). if you are a casual collector, a movie fan, or something else other than a serious nihontophile they should be pleasing to your eye. if you are a serious nihontophile then you don't need me to tell you about shinwa.

where Shinwa really falls down is the fittings. many people may say to this "so what, all I care about it having a good blade" I say to you people: that is a foolish idea. the itomaki (wrappings on the handle) on every single Shinwa I have seen has been horribly done and very loose. so loose my buddy stripped it all of the handle on the first swing and almost lost his grip on it when that happened. this is pretty dangerous: swords flying through the air and all that. the fit of the handle to the tang is off and on with this company judging by the dozen or so different swords I have seen. some fit nice and snug, but others actually wobble in the grip. this is also dangerous as the wobbling will create stress and may cause the handle to fail allowing the blade to fly out. dangerous!

ok so we see some problems but there is one last nail in Shinwa's coffin: price. they can often be had in the $90 - $200 range and while that is not an insulting price there are simply better options. if you want a katana/japanese sword in that price range I reccomend Musashi. sometimes, especially at conventions and such, you will get unreputable dealers that sell these things like they are works of art or something and jack the price through the roof. sadly, this is the story of my buddy and his wife. she bought him a shinwa sword at an anime convention without telling him before hand and before I could warn her not to. she paid over $600 for that sword that wasn't up to the $150 price range quality standard. it made me sad and angry that a friend of mine got ripped off so badly. and if you thin over $600 for ANY shinwa isn't robbery then I doubt very much you have any idea what you're talking about.

Shinwa Swords
by: Anonymous

I own two Shinwa swords. They are both still razor sharpe after months of cutting pratice. I'm no expert on swords, but for the money they are good blades. In general bud k does sell a lot of junk so buyer beware. But for the first time sword buyer getting into real swords you could do alot worse.

well
by: inksoul

shinwa has a lot to offer and can be found in budk but i think it deserves better .... the quality though is overall nice,but the only reason id get a shinwa is for damascus and i have ...their damascus is pretty much the best i know this because i have a damascus nodachi ...but i think that cold steel has quality just as good ........ but if i were you id stick with making my own blades cause if you know how ...theyre the most reliable

well
by: inksoul

shinwa has a lot to offer and can be found in budk but i think it deserves better .... the quality though is overall nice,but the only reason id get a shinwa is for damascus and i have ...their damascus is pretty much the best i know this because i have a damascus nodachi ...but i think that cold steel has quality just as good ........ but if i were you id stick with making my own blades cause if you know how ...theyre the most reliable

Everyting is in the details
by: Anonymous

Shinwa has an elegant look, at first. The blade holds its edge well enough and the balance is good. The attention to authenitc detail is poor and the blade shape is by no means traditional, the actual construction of the individual parts is acceptable for the price range, but the assembly of the tsukamaki is loose and done without attention to safety giving the impression of a cheap "knockoff". Overall, this is a moderately good quality blade housed in tourist souvenir fittings. Many items available for the same price are as good or better, but going up only 50-100 bucks puts you in a different league.

Everyting is in the details
by: Anonymous

Shinwa has an elegant look, at first. The blade holds its edge well enough and the balance is good. The attention to authenitc detail is poor and the blade shape is by no means traditional, the actual construction of the individual parts is acceptable for the price range, but the assembly of the tsukamaki is loose and done without attention to safety giving the impression of a cheap "knockoff". Overall, this is a moderately good quality blade housed in tourist souvenir fittings. Many items available for the same price are as good or better, but going up only 50-100 bucks puts you in a different league.

Everyting is in the details
by: Anonymous

Shinwa has an elegant look, at first. The blade holds its edge well enough and the balance is good. The attention to authenitc detail is poor and the blade shape is by no means traditional, the actual construction of the individual parts is acceptable for the price range, but the assembly of the tsukamaki is loose and done without attention to safety giving the impression of a cheap "knockoff". Overall, this is a moderately good quality blade housed in tourist souvenir fittings. Many items available for the same price are as good or better, but going up only 50-100 bucks puts you in a different league.

Everyting is in the details
by: Anonymous

Shinwa has an elegant look, at first. The blade holds its edge well enough and the balance is good. The attention to authenitc detail is poor and the blade shape is by no means traditional, the actual construction of the individual parts is acceptable for the price range, but the assembly of the tsukamaki is loose and done without attention to safety giving the impression of a cheap "knockoff". Overall, this is a moderately good quality blade housed in tourist souvenir fittings. Many items available for the same price are as good or better, but going up only 50-100 bucks puts you in a different league.

Shinwa
by: Anonymous

I have, as many of you have noted, that the Shinwa Swords are a definite step up from the ss crap. For the price they are not too bad. In the lower price ranges and in Mushashi swords, the tsuba is often cast "pot metal" the ray/sharkskin wraps are not full wraps. the Blades seem of. But those with mixed metal tsubas that you do not inted to rebuild---the tsubas will shatter quite easily. I have done sone light cutting (milk bottles, can, sorter wood and the are ok and not dangerous, at least. sometime the fittings are loose. that about covers it

Shinwa
by: Anonymous

I have, as many of you have noted, that the Shinwa Swords are a definite step up from the ss crap. For the price they are not too bad. In the lower price ranges and in Mushashi swords, the tsuba is often cast "pot metal" the ray/sharkskin wraps are not full wraps. the Blades seem of. But those with mixed metal tsubas that you do not inted to rebuild---the tsubas will shatter quite easily. I have done sone light cutting (milk bottles, can, sorter wood and the are ok and not dangerous, at least. sometime the fittings are loose. that about covers it

Shinwa was worth every penny.
by: Dr. Venture

I purchased the $289.99 Damascus Shinwa katana w/ bo-hi aka "blood groove" from budk and i love it. has not one flaw with the exception of use and overtime of cleaning the Fuchi or "collar" has become loosened. But that with any sword that is being used time and time again. I actually practice cutting down the bushes and trees in my yard when its time to do the yardwork.
(neighbors stay liking me..LOL) I also purchased the blind mans Nodachi from Shinwa with the same quality. Blade is still as sharp as ever and i've had not one issue with both of them cutting anything in the norm. (mostly wood) So all in all i'd purchase a Shinwa again when the time comes.

Beware the quality of Shinwa blades
by: G. S. T.

I recently purchased and received to Shinwa katanas. I am returning both. I noticed one needed some slight amount of sharpening and shortening of the pegs securing the handle. The pegs protruded at least an 1/8 of an inch out of the handle on one side.
Prior to sharpening the blade I ran a cotton cloth down the length to clean some of the excess material (a greasy, wax like substance) that was on the blade when I received it. The cloth snagged near the habaki. Upon closer examination I noted the blade looked cracked. I used some 600 grit sand paper to remove the black finish to get a better look. To my dismay I found the blade to be fractured completely through for approximately 30% of its width.
I will never purchase a Shinwa blade again. This fracture had to be readily noticeable to the human eye prior to the addition of the black finish. Any sword manufactured that would ship a blade in this condition is not to be trusted.
I did not pay much for the katanas and did not expect a top quality blade. But, I did not expect an obviously faulty blade and one that would be a danger to use for any type of cutting practice.

Quality of Shinwa is pretty good IMO
by: JohnnyMac

I have a couple of the Shinwa Damascus blades and I am thrilled with them. I purchased my first sword for my son. It was a United katana with a hand forged carbon steel blade. Price was dirt cheap but it was his first sword and it was carbon steel and not Stainless garbage.

I then bought myself the Shinwa Blind Nodachi (Damascus steel) and was thoroughly impressed with the quality of craftsmanship and presentation.

My son and I like to take our blades out back and cut up all the recycling (filled with water) in the bin. Somehow my son's blade ended up with a dinged edge. We are guessing that it happened on a particularly hard Gatorade bottle near the neck. Very disappointing to find that plastic could cause such damage to the blade.

We do our cutting on an old stool made of hard maple. I must have dropped my shoulder or something on a particular swing and hit the top of the stool by accident and shaved a pretty deep but clean gouge out of the maple. If you know wood then you know that butcher block rock maple is one of the hardest woods there is. I checked the blade of the Shinwa and there was not a nick or sign of any damage whatsoever. If I have any regrets about the blade it's that it has a black finish to it that in time wears away. The steel itself is still flawless and the edge is still as sharp as any pocket knife I've ever owned.

Since then I have purchased a Shinwa Damascus double-edged "Katana" (straight blade like a Ninjato) for my son for Christmas and it is like a true work of art. I've never seen a more beautiful blade and can't wait for Christmas to give it to him. For my future step-son and myself I purchased a couple Shinwa Katanas in Damascus and am extremely pleased at the quality of these weapons.

I plan on getting into metal working and becoming a blade smith to give myself something to play with if I ever retire. I will replace the tsuba and the furniture one day to make them truly my own. While I can't speak for the regular forged carbon blades, I can tell you that if you haven't tried Shinwa's damascus blades you owe it to yourself to try one out.

The Shinwa Quality
by: Hirikayi Musashi

I have recently done many of purchases of these Shinwa. My students very enjoyed the katanas. I did warned them to tell me if looseness occurred. One of my students is not listened, and used a loose blade. The blade flew off and did injured a another student of mine. I immediately did dismissed the neglegent student. Shinwa swords are not the best kind of the sword you may now buy.

shinwa nodachi
by: mako

hello i purchased a black nodachi from budk, the blade looks nice i own an authentic family katana so i can see the difference in quality,it dosent have the same feel as my katanas blade but it is razor sharp and i tested the blade by hacking apart chicken wire, tree branches, milk jugs and it tore through them with the same efficiency as a real one, the cruddy part is i cannot take the sword apart as they encase it in wood without a pin , i do not know the looseness issue that shinwas katanas have, but i can vouch for the sharp edge as mine show no wear or tear after many uses, i cannot vouch for the steel quality but as cheap katana you could do worse (ryan swords xD) i dont like how shinwa adds the numbers along the blade opposite side of the dragon (like the dragon looks neat)
so as a begining blade its ok

and for those who dont yet get it the damascas katanas ARE NOT REALLY DAMASCAS

they only look like it
the art of real damascus steel which was prized for its strength and flexibility is a lost art, some have gotten close to original style but its not a true damascus steel, im not teeling you your blades are worthless, they may be good for all i know, but the true damascus blades dont wear off, damascus steel is placing high carbon chunks into the melting process and folding process, this gives it the high carbon strength, as well as the flexible lower steel to it, some are brittle due to how the carbon is placed into the flexible steel while heating is occurring, but the others can be supremely strong, to the point of shattering or cutting opposing steel(this was why it was so prized) but do to war and plague the damascus steel makers of old died without passing the knowledge fully to their students, is a real tragedy to be sure

Please no.
by: George Jacobson

The Shinwa brand sucks. The blades dent easily, shatter easily, and come loose easily. Please buy something different. Lower priced swords have better quality. Dont run the risk of injuring yourself or others.

Cutting blades
by: JMK Hapkido Kumdo

I have read a good number of comments here and find that a good number of people take these swords out and cut sundry items, from plastic bottles to tree branches to chicken wire.

People have remarked on the sharpness of the blades. Actual swords for combat were, contrary to popular belief, not razor sharp, as razor sharp blades are more prone to damage and chipping (so don't use them to cut Gatorade bottles and barstools). The cutting power of the sword comes from the technique of the wielder, not the sharpness of the blade.

Unless you are training in a sword art under the supervision of a qualified instructor, I recommend against such activity.

As for the swords themselves, I recenty purchassed a Shinwa 'Damascus' blade; a straight katana with a double fuller on each side. It is a nice piece and the handle seems put together fairly well. But the reality is that it is a sword costing less than three hundred dollars. I have a shinken, which cost thousands which I use for tameshigiri demonstrations.

The difference in materials is astounding, as is the difference in price. The Shinwa is a nice conversation piece and handles well, but I have no intention of cutting with it. My Shinwa is reasonably well made and about what I'd expect in a Chinese mass produced blade. I also suspect that quality control is less stringent than that of Bugei.

As for the 'Damascus' steel tag, that has become a buzz word for dark blades with a dramatic pattern. Some look better than others. The Shinwa looks better than some but not as good as others.

These swords are fine for what they are intended to be: cool conversation pieces. Kind of like things you'd get from the Franklin Mint, only far less costly.

Take it for what its worth.

Shinwa Damascus
by: Anonymous

The term "Damascus" is overused today and in my thinking it is also used incorrectly. The blades which are being called "Damascus" are actually pattern welded steel and are not true "Damascus" or what is otherwise known as "wootz". The secret to "wootz" was lost, but thanks to our modern science and the existence of some antique genuine "wootz" blades of both Indian and Iranian origin, it has been rediscovered and there are now several smiths producing genuine "wootz" blades now, not pattern welded wannabes! Don't get me wrong, pattern welded blades are some of the most beautiful metallurgy I have laid eyes on with so many different patterns and metal combinations being created these days, they are a wonder to behold! These Shinwa blades are not true "Damascus" but are pattern welded blades, pretty to look at but, pattern welded nonetheless! As for their functionality it seems you get a mixed bag with some being quite good and others being shoddily constructed? My attitude with places who sell "economy" knives and swords like BudK and others is Caveat emptor (buyer beware), you generally get what you pay for! You can't expect $10,000 nihonto quality for $80 but, surprisingly there are more than a few choices out there as far as katana replicas go even in that price range! I have several Musashi swords as well as Cheness and Ryumon and I must say the quality of the blades I have bought in the lower price ranges, including actual cutting functionality on tatami omote is a pleasant surprise! I have yet to purchase a Shinwa blade, but several of my fellow swordsmen have and I have handled their Shinwa swords and if you get one which is 'tight' then they aren't that bad! The blade quality believe or not is actually the best part of the sword? While definitely not a true katana as I am familiar with the term, they seem to do well for what they are? I would be tempted to completely strip the furniture off keeping just the blade and putting my own customized version on though, if I ever were to buy one? If you want a true "Damascus" blade then find one and be ready to shell out some "Benjamins" cause you won't be finding one for $80 as they are all currently a custom made endeavor these days and I am pretty sure there will be a backlog as well so you may have to wait a bit before your "wootz" blade is delivered? I bid thee farewell!

Shinwa vs Cold Steel
by: Anonymous

I have seen several comments on here attempting comparison between Shinwa and Cold Steel which is ridiculous because Cold Steel katana are nowhere near the sub $100 price range? Cheness or Hanwei would be a more suitable comparison to Cold Steel katana. Cold Steel katana are designed for serious cutting and as far as I can tell the materials are not cheap and the making of the blade including the all important tempering process is done correctly! You can have two swords with one made out of say 1060 high carbon steel and the other made out of 1045 medium carbon steel which is an inferior grade of carbon steel compared to the 1060, but if the sword with the 1045 has a good heat treatment and the 1060 one does not,the 1045 sword will out cut the one made out of 1060! Anyway, Cold Steel is doing it right and there blades are excellent cutters as well as built to withstand the rigors of frequent use!

Shinwa/Hanwei/Cold Steel
by: Justin

I owned the paul chen practical katana. I own the 88BKW cold steel warrior series katana. I own a "Damascus" shinwa katana.

Of the 3 the worst quality by FAR was the hanwei paul chen practical katana. After 1 year of use it broke. I examined where it broke and a rust line had formed all the way through the blade. I treated it like a virgin princess so that wasn't from me.

Cutting: Hanwei cut fine however it did break on a cut. Never needed resharpening before its demise.

Furniture and fittings: Crap, was having to rewrap it constantly.

Overall assessment of this sword as its owner a 2 out of 5.

My Cold Steel warrior series is an excellent blade. That having been said it has the WORST fittings of all 3 "battle ready" katana. It hasn't broken so it has that over the paul chen sword. Another drawback, this sword needs CONSTANT resharpening. Yes its tough and highly flexible as a consequence it doesn't hold an edge well in my opinion. I give this sword a 3 out of 5. Mainly for pure blade strength.

Cutting: Superb as long as its sharpened often. Can cut very heavy materials.

Furniture/fittings: I can't stress enough how poorly made cold steels handles are. My handle is cracked completely through on both sides and is being held together by the wrap.

Shinwa "Damascus" katana. Ok heres the thing I know this is going to sound like complete horse shit but oh well. The fittings are superb. This is the tightest most well wrapped handle I have ever held. Wobble? Not on your fucking life. Wish my cold steel could say that.

Cutting: Cutting potential in terms of sharpness and cleaving damage is = to the cold steel and greater then the paul chen. It retains an edge better then the cold steel. One serious serious problem tho and its something I can just tell from having used swords so heavily in cutting practice. I wouldn't want to strike a bone with this sword. I fear it is highly brittle.

Furniture/Fittings: Perfection, absolute fucking perfection. I've owned over 20 katanas. Taiwanese made shit all the way to Cold Steel. No sword I've ever owned has had fittings this nice. This blade isn't budging. I'll snap the blade before this handle falls apart that much I'm certain of.

Overall rating: 4 of 5

I've never held a 5 of 5.

So imo if you can find a "Tight" Shinwa "Damascus" Katana snatch it up. Just be sensible about it. Shake it make sure it isn't loose. Do not strike metal with it or trees or rocks ffs. The blade is clearly not made to be ultra "tough". Imo it aims more towards hardness/edge retention.

OH BTW: Battle Ready is a subjective term. In kenjutsu blades are not meant to be struck against one another. No Japanese sword was ever intentionally struck against another by a samurai who could avoid it. Dodging and counter cutting were often far better options then any sort of deflection.

Shinwa Swords
by: Dragons DarK

I like so many could not pass up the chance to test on of the Shinwa swords. After buying it form Budk and paying $120.00 I was not surprised by the quality of the sword... lets face it they are cheep for a reason. The blade, despite being non traditional, it is a functional carbon steel blade. I ran it through the same test as Cold Steel and cut through whole pig carcass. As a true swordsman you must know what a sword is met for, cutting flesh and bone, not bottles and trees. You use axes for such things. After some controlled practices with my brother the Cold Steel Katana was unable to "break" The Shinwa Katana. However after half an hour of sword fighting both sword suffered from chipped edges, note that the Katana was not met for direct sword on sword they are met to cut flesh. The Shinwa was chipped more than the Cold Steel and the handle pieces needed refitting more so on the Shinwa. Another note: After any prolonged sword combat matinance is a must and such parts should be replaced/refitted to insure there is no critical failure in the next battle. The Shinwa is the poor mans Katana that can dismember as easily as the Cold Steel.

unskilled snobs
by: viking

i collect knive s swords an guns my choise blade is a bowie knife or viking axe . but love all weapons a true master of the arts of death can kill with a boken . i own a shinwa i am pleased with it for the price becasue it could still take a head. mashi killed his foe with a carved boat ore . if you dont no him do your research. its in your skill not how much you spend on your weapon s. like i tell my son when we shoot there s gun snobs out there cause that cant hit shit unless. they have a 500 buck gun with a lasser sight. it s the shooter not the gun. i didnt no there s so many sword snobs out there to. i have taken ss swords an done some good damage to a lot of things. it s your skill not the price tag.

unskilled snobs
by: viking

i collect knive s swords an guns my choise blade is a bowie knife or viking axe . but love all weapons a true master of the arts of death can kill with a boken . i own a shinwa i am pleased with it for the price becasue it could still take a head. mashi killed his foe with a carved boat ore . if you dont no him do your research. its in your skill not how much you spend on your weapon s. like i tell my son when we shoot there s gun snobs out there cause that cant hit shit unless. they have a 500 buck gun with a lasser sight. it s the shooter not the gun. i didnt no there s so many sword snobs out there to. i have taken ss swords an done some good damage to a lot of things. it s your skill not the price tag.

unskilled snobs
by: viking

i collect knive s swords an guns my choise blade is a bowie knife or viking axe . but love all weapons a true master of the arts of death can kill with a boken . i own a shinwa i am pleased with it for the price becasue it could still take a head. mashi killed his foe with a carved boat ore . if you dont no him do your research. its in your skill not how much you spend on your weapon s. like i tell my son when we shoot there s gun snobs out there cause that cant hit shit unless. they have a 500 buck gun with a lasser sight. it s the shooter not the gun. i didnt no there s so many sword snobs out there to. i have taken ss swords an done some good damage to a lot of things. it s your skill not the price tag.

lets get real
by: realist

Ok people lets face facts. First of all the swords you buy through the catalogs are mass produced swords. These so called hand made battle ready katana's can be called such because it requires a person to move it from one machine to the next.

Like anything else that is produced anything can happen at any time.

I do not want to seem like I am attacking any one but there is a reason why the japanese keep some of their sword making techniques a secret.

As for the sensei that had a student injured. What kind of dojo are you running? Buddy you need to give up on teaching martial arts.

Your best bet is if you are going to buy a sword through a catalog or online like from BudK or SwordsSwords or any of the like is to wait until black friday when they are all on sale for less than $100 because that is all a machined sword is worth.

Let me ask you something. When was the last time that any of you had to survive by your sword? As far as I know it is illegal to even wear a sword in public in the U.S. and most other countries.

The swords soul is pounded in by the sweat and blood of the master sword crafter(MSC). Who doesn't use expensive machines to make a sword in one day. From beginning to end it may take a MSC a month to complete.

So you that prove you don't know any better leave the reviews up to those who do. (not that I am one that does) If you don't know what you are looking for then you should not even consider purchasing a sword.

I Love Swords & Knives
by: Paul B.

As I read all the comments of all you fine ladys & gentelmen it is great, know this all swords even the swords that have no tang but just a threaded rod welded to the blade does have a place in sword collecting. Some have them for show and some to play with or work out with either way it is all good. When you buy a sword just decide what you are going to use it for then buy it. PS This is a great site and I do enjoy reading the comments.

Po-tatoes or Po-tattos
by: Anonymous

I'm not a sword expert by any definition, but I will give you another example I've been involved with musical instruments(guitars) for over 50 years and where "professionals" will tell you they can feel and hear the difference in a $400.00 chinese knockoff of a $4500.00 American 335 style guitar. In fact if you set the two guitars up the same, with strings and amps and have the "professionals" play them blindfolded where they can not physically see only touch and play the instruments over 70% of the time they can not consisently tell you which unit they are playing. But they will "die" trying to convince
you that the American standard has some special nuiance that cannot be described but is only known to the "professional"--OH say it isn't so.
The point of any instrument is to perform whatever function it was made to do. Some clearly will do a job better than others, but if I were to blindfold you and give you several choices of which is the "best" and "worst" of the group you'd probably have no trouble choosing the worst, but from that level up it will depend on which nuances you consider most important. Clearly the true 2000 fold steel made several centuries ago has qualities that none of us understand or can duplicate--that's why a master made them and why you'll pay for a house and car before you could come close to their price. But in the real world none of us can afford these items for use so let's get real about the available, affordable choices. I'd love to see each "professional" list in order the brand, type and function of their 5 best and it possible list the purchase price in real dollars for each. Then at least we would have some substantive document(s) to discuss apples and oranges on.

It's the Indian not the arrow...
by: Anonymous

see above.

Depends
by: Anonymous

I love swords, Especially katana. I've owned many swords, including shinwa, now in my opinion shinwa doesn't get near as much recognition as it should, I mean an original master sword crafter may laugh it at, but they had secrets they were not telling anyone. In my experience shinwa stands up pretty well in comparison to my much more expensive pieces, actually I lean more towards shinwa because it doesn't cost near as much, yet seems not so different as say cold steel, which makes a pretty great sword. My favorite sword, a navy shinwa odachi, 60 inches of quality, I paid right around 80 bucks for it. And yes, I can put it right through a pig carcass. It was actually really cool, my friend is a butcher and he let me cut up some stuff with it.

my shinwa sword
by: rick

i have one and i live it not just looks good it fill good to and looken to get a nother soon

Damascus Steel Zatoichi Katana
by: Anonymous

I bought one of Shinwa's katanas, it was the Damascus Steel Zatoichi katana and at first it seemed really great. After looking it over a little bit, I noticed there were a couple of flaws in the blade, some grooves that looked like jagged cuts in the steel. Also, I oil the blade before I would put it back in it's sheath, and after I oil it, a lot of rust colored residue comes off, it happens each time. After I rub the blade down with oil and paper towel, the blade started to become discolored, originally it was black with red veins due to the Damacus style, but now it is yellow-ish with black veins. I don't know why it is doing that, maybe someone could help me. As far as the handle goes it is amazing, I haven't seen any sword with a better wrapped handle and also the Tsuba or hand guard is perfect.

With a Comment To Think On
by: A Friendly Swordsman

Hummm it seems a bet to me like yall are looking at your swords and not the owner. A sword is only as good as the holder it may seem weird but there are many good swords over looked just because the person looking at it says its bad. When a 300 year old sword is stll around weater its rusted or not it is still there. What im saying is if you buy a Shinwa or some other better or worse it is the person using it that says if he lives or dies. Remeber that a sword was once a persons soul do not descrase those who die by them. Buy a sword make a sword that suites you learn to uses it and find out were your laking then improve. Also remeber to be carefull

Previous poster is a moron.
by: Anonymous

Try putting your "soul" into a cheap mall sword and see how long it lasts. The best wielder would go with the best quality. Save your 12 year old kung fu movie fantasies for the movies and comic books and don't give advice to REAL blade collectors.

SWORD VS
by: Anonymous

I HAVE A CHEAP $20-$30 NINJA STYLE SWORD THAT IS CRUDELY STAMPED CHINA ON ONE SIDE AND STAINLESS ON THE OTHER. I KNOW ITS CHEAP BUT MY FRIEND SHARPENED IT WITH A DIAMOND PADDLE AND ITS SCARY SHARP NOW. IT FEELS AS SHARP AS A SHINWA I SAW FOR SALE AT A USED STORE FOR $100. I PAID $8 OR $12 FOR MINE AND BET IT CAN TAKE OFF A HEAD! I HAVE ONLY HAD ONE FORMAL SWORD LESSON BUT PRACTICED QUITE A LOT AT ONE TIME USING A BROKEN BROOM HANDLE CUT DOWN AND THE TIP BEVELLED. THAT MAY SOUND SILLY BUT IF A NOVICE PRACTICES WITH AN EDGED SWORD THE CUT MAIM OR KILL SOMEONE WATCHING OR THEMSELVES. I UNDERSTAND THERE ARE COMBAT AND DECORATION SWORDS, AND ADMIRE THE CRAFTMANSHIP, HOWEVER GETTING INTO A SWORD SEEMS VERY RISKY EVEN FOR SOMEONE WHO IS REASONABLY PROFICIENT! MY POINT IS THIS,... SURE YOU COULD USE A SWORD IN SELF DEFENSE IF YOU HAD TO, BUT THIS SOCIETY IS NOT ONE OF HONOR,...ANYMORE AND THUGS HAVE GUNS AND DO NOT FIGHT 1 ON 1! ONE ROUND FROM A .45 HAS THE KNOCK DOWN POWER OF A 90 MPH BRICK (PER THE US ARMY)IT WAS DEVELOPED TO TAKE DOWN THE DRUGGED UP ISLAND NATIVES THAT A .38 DID NOT STOP! COLT .45! ONE BALL STOPS THEM ALL! (ONE EACH)

New To Shinwa Swords
by: Anonymous

I Come Across a Shinwa Sword a few days ago and Iv always want at least one real sword even if it may stay in the sheath the time im using it, ill only use it in a in danger situation, but it Are they good to use? wouldnt mind making my own sword,a sword aint as strong if not crafted by user, basicly going back to a man put heart and soul into sword but my question still stands

Are they good to use?

New To Shinwa Swords
by: Cloud

I Come Across a Shinwa Sword a few days ago and Iv always want at least one real sword even if it may stay in the sheath the time im using it, ill only use it in a in danger situation, but it Are they good to use? wouldnt mind making my own sword,a sword aint as strong if not crafted by user, basicly going back to a man put heart and soul into sword but my question still stands

Are they good to use?

Shinwa Owner
by: Anonymous

I've had one for a couple of years now, no problems with it. Paid less than $200 at local dealer, I managed to slice a Columbus Yellow Pages clean in half with it. Not bad for the price.

Absolutely amazed!
by: GetReal

Quality? Sharpness? Hacked? Chicken-wire? Musashi? I am AMAZED! IDIOT'S. You're ineptitude is AWE-INSPIRING. "Blade flew off and injured someone?" You my friend, need to continue honoring the legitimate martial arts by your continued absence.

Cold Steel
by: Dancing Hawk

fuck man, if you're going to buy a sword buy cold steel. you can slaughter a whole family and not worry dinging the blade.

You dumb bastard....
by: you brought a sword to a gun fight

I chuckle that people would criticize a piece without fully trying it out. To each his own though.
I also chuckle the "battle ready" selling point of a sword. Who here has even been in a "battle?" let alone with a sword.
What good is your sword, regardless of who trained you and how many hours of training you recieved against a moron with a firearm?
Don't get me wrong, I think swords are cool. They carry a certain kind of romance and beauty. "Not as random and barbaric as a blaster"

Soul & Shinwa swords
by: Paul B.

Ok a sword is wood , steel, cotton or whatever, it does not eat, breathe, or have life. The person holding the sword does. I have been blessed and have worked all my life and have been able to collect many edged weapons and have done this since I was 8 years old. My first knife was a Case XX 10 dot (1970) and it is still in my collection the collection has somewhere around 3000 weapons depends on what I am trading on. I am also a gun collector remember this, no matter how good I am with a sword or Knife and I train people how to use D all the above weapons and yes firearms also. Lets get real, never take a knife or sword to a gun fight. There are so many other weapons, (recurve bows, compound bows, cross bows, flips, slingshots) the list of weapons goes on and on that are in my collection as I am 50 years old, that I would pick over a knife or sword if someone was going to try to harm my faimly or friends but rest assured there is always a knife in my pocket and gun at my bed side and swords in every room and I have to listen to my wife naggggging about having to many weapons but that is my hobby and we are lucky to live in USA where everyone can own and bear arms to protect our loved ones which ever weapon is your choice. Back on the subject, Shinwa swords are a great choice and I have never gave over $100.00 for a Shinwa and own 8 of them. That being said there are swords in my collection that are much better but they cost a lot more. Decide what you are going to do with the sword and buy acordingly. Everyone says thier sword is the best and they are an expert. The best advice that I know is to start small do your reserch and you will find what you prefer. Have fun with it involve the whole faimly you never know it may be the tie that binds and the whole faimly may be closer.

ARE SHINWA SWORDS GOOD ?
by: EDDIE BLADE

ARE SHINWA SWORDS ANY GOOD? MY ANSWER IS YES. I HAVE HAD MANY SWORDS IN THE PAST, MOST OF THEM PURCHASED AT THE LOCAL FLEA MARKET (YOU KNOW THE ONES)AND THEY BARELY LASTED TWO WEEKS! IM REALLY HARD ON SWORDS.BUT SHINWA HOWEVER IS AN EXCEPTION.THERE SWORDS ARE STRONG RESILIENT KEEP A SHARP EDGE ARE FULL TANGED AND CAN BE COMPLETY DISSASSEMBLED.I KNOW THAT THERE ARE A LOT HIGHER QUALITY SWORDS OUT THERE,BUT IN MY OPINION SHINWA SWORDS ARE THE BEST BUY FOR THE MONEY.IF YOUR LOOKING FOR A GOOD FULLY FUNCTIONAL SWORD THAT CAN TAKE A BEATING AND STILL PEFORM.LOOK NO FURTHER THAN SHINWA.I OWN TWO OF THEM.THERE MY BACK UP WHEN MY TRUSTRY 12 GAUGE RUNS OUT OF AMMO.

OK
by: Anonymous

Does anyone actually want to rate the swords or talk about them in some sort of scientific manner. Has anyone done tests on the same class swords of any sort, i.e. actually running them all through the same tests etc. I clicked on this site hoping to get some good advice and instead found people bickering at eachother and a few nut jobs talking about how they are masters of death or killing. Oh and why is it that a newcomer doesn't have a right to buy a good sword? (reffering to the guy that said if you don't know what your looking for you don't need it or something silly like that).

OK
by: Anonymous

Does anyone actually want to rate the swords or talk about them in some sort of scientific manner. Has anyone done tests on the same class swords of any sort, i.e. actually running them all through the same tests etc. I clicked on this site hoping to get some good advice and instead found people bickering at eachother and a few nut jobs talking about how they are masters of death or killing. Oh and why is it that a newcomer doesn't have a right to buy a good sword? (reffering to the guy that said if you don't know what your looking for you don't need it or something silly like that).

shinwa quality
by: shinwa owner

As a shinwa owner , i feel i must comment om a few points. Astheticlly, shinwa swords are really beautiful to look at. The tsuba is very well bulit and nice to look at.the handle is tightly wrapped and it's gold accents are very pleasing to the eye. The blade has mock damascus
markings that are also very pleasing and also seems well contructed. While ihaven't performed
any cutting tests im fairly cetain it would absoultely DESTROY whatever happend to be in it's path.

On the whole , they're like that crazy chick you
know, beautiful, but deadly.

Shinwa
by: Paul B.

Ok these swords are good to use if u are not going to work them say as to cut small trees. they are ok to cut mats. The blades haven't been brought to a spring steel temper such as the swords from cold steel. They are a decent entry level sword, that is way better than most. As far as the price if u get them for $100 or less you aren't getting hurt. They are worth that just to practice with and knowing that it isn't going to fall apart and hurt someone. They are real swords and will last a long time if you take care of them. I have taken them apart and they are full tang and have two pegs. I have put a good edge on them but the edge doesn't last as long as some of my more costly swords and again that is because of hardness of the blade and the temper process but again remember they are beautiful and functional there you have it.


Shinwa
by: Paul B.

Ok these swords are good to use if u are not going to work them say as to cut small trees. they are ok to cut mats. The blades haven't been brought to a spring steel temper such as the swords from cold steel. They are a decent entry level sword, that is way better than most. As far as the price if u get them for $100 or less you aren't getting hurt. They are worth that just to practice with and knowing that it isn't going to fall apart and hurt someone. They are real swords and will last a long time if you take care of them. I have taken them apart and they are full tang and have two pegs. I have put a good edge on them but the edge doesn't last as long as some of my more costly swords and again that is because of hardness of the blade and the temper process but again remember they are beautiful and functional there you have it.


verdict
by: jonathan

I have read all the other entries in this thread ahd have come to this conclusion
1: shinwa swords are attractive and cheaply made
2: quality is inconsistant, may last years or may snap instantly.
3: not real damascus, and should not be marked as such

to shinwa owner from october 6 2012
by: Anonymous

If you think the folded steel (damascus) markings are fake then either get you brain or you eyes examined cuz you're either blind or retarded. I would suggest you just don't try collecting swords anymore if you are truly that unknowledgable.


Shinwa Owner
by: SECAN

I have trained in European and Asian sword fighting. I own swords respective of each style and try to combine all training during practice. Over the years I have figured out that most students who train in one style think theirs is the best. I also feel there is no one best style. The same goes for swords. I own Shinwa in my arsenal of swords. And like most things they can be good and bad. The two Shinwa swords I have are straight and not curved blades, good if not great quality. I prefer the straight blades because I will use rapier techniques in Asian practice and the straight ninja type sword gives me an accurate deadly point that most of my fellow students are not used to going against. They are tight with strong blades. They cut as well as more expensive battle ready swords. As with any sword an error during the forging process will cause any blade to fail. All in all the Shinwa holds up well. Most people would be surprised if they knew where their expensive Phil Chung and other brand swords came from. Most blades, not all originate from only a few different places and you sometimes pay for the name. Before some owners start grabbing their chest I said sometimes. And some that grab their chest don't want to admit they over paid about 50% or more for their blades and are the first to malign Shinwa. As far as Damascus blades it depends on the manufacturers definition of Damascus. I would use my Shinwa swords in any combat situation. For what most people use swords for and the cost I find Shinwa to be an excellent brand.

hmmm
by: Anonymous

does it really matter if its worth it or not if you bought the item then it's worth it to you isn't it or you wouldn't have bought the thing beside unless you actually want to go around chopping things with it you understand the risk of the blade and should understand no one is at fault but the user should anything happen. . . but yeah shinwa is decent for the price

To anonymous who commented on "shines owner october 6"
by: Anonymous

Please sir, do not insult other people by calling them stupid if you can't even spell. "cuz" is not a word. It's "because". And to the most recent shinwa owner, I value this much, as I am looking for a sword for my birthday and found a shinwa I like.

Collector & User... Student of Iaido
by: Chevy

The Katana that has been given to me is an Excellent piece of art as well as a great weapon...as far as wondering how to tell the Damascus Steel,Outside a microscope,one can run their fingernail down from the blood groove to the edge,of course stopping before getting to the edge,to FEEL the ridges in the steel.Thereby telling the hint of the Damascus Steel.There other Katanas that have the same ridges,more or less but have been polished flat so it is difficult to FEEL the ridges. And those are Folded Steel,not Damascus,The Damascus usually have two or more steels folded together to make the blade,as in 1095 carbon and 15N20 steels folded together,The weaker of the two folded over the stronger and harder,and then clay tempered to harden both,thereby making the weapon even more formable. So if you're going to judge a katana, buy one first,don't be a armchair critic that doesn't even own one,much less ever held one. Good Luck in your hunting and collecting... Chevy

cold steel catana
by: Anonymous

haw do you make cold steel catana

cold steel catana
by: Anonymous

haw do you make cold steel catana

pointless
by: Anonymous

Idk why people are making comparisons about blades most of you don't realize the entire point of the sword. the point of the sword was to kill. reguard lessof what many of you will say a sharpened piece of aluminum can cut thru bone, as bone is decently soft inside the human body and gets very hard as it calcifies outside of the human body or after death. As many people on here keep saying, you're not supposed to be bashing trees and bottles or even tatami mats with the swords and making your judgment/comparisons off of cutting anything other than what the weapons intended cutting target and purpose is is completly biased as they did'nt go around cutting 1000's of trees to death in the 1200-1600 centuries cuz they were cutting each other. katanas weren't made for sword to sword, as kendo portrays either. if you wanna bash trees and mats and dumb shit get a european broad sword or claymore or better yet an axe. unless you've killed with the weapon, your opinion of quality compared to "Your" use is bias stupid and irrelevant. I ve had to Use a shinwa doubled edge sword on a armed burglar in my house before and lets just say it did the job with extreme efficiency. even fighting for survival with it your not gunna be fighting other people with swords and shields you'll be combating firearms so you'll need stealth anyways so a gun is just loud and draws attention cuz its the 21st century -_- the most deadly weapon is the one your most comfortable with

pointless
by: Anonymous

Idk why people are making comparisons about blades most of you don't realize the entire point of the sword. the point of the sword was to kill. reguard lessof what many of you will say a sharpened piece of aluminum can cut thru bone, as bone is decently soft inside the human body and gets very hard as it calcifies outside of the human body or after death. As many people on here keep saying, you're not supposed to be bashing trees and bottles or even tatami mats with the swords and making your judgment/comparisons off of cutting anything other than what the weapons intended cutting target and purpose is is completly biased as they did'nt go around cutting 1000's of trees to death in the 1200-1600 centuries cuz they were cutting each other. katanas weren't made for sword to sword, as kendo portrays either. if you wanna bash trees and mats and dumb shit get a european broad sword or claymore or better yet an axe. unless you've killed with the weapon, your opinion of quality compared to "Your" use is bias stupid and irrelevant. I ve had to Use a shinwa doubled edge sword on a armed burglar in my house before and lets just say it did the job with extreme efficiency. even fighting for survival with it your not gunna be fighting other people with swords and shields you'll be combating firearms so you'll need stealth anyways so a gun is just loud and draws attention cuz its the 21st century -_- the most deadly weapon is the one your most comfortable with

Want a killing blade
by: Daniel H

Hey, so I been a blade maker for about 4 years and 7 years in marital arts, I can say that katana are super cool but when it comes down to it katanas are a lot work keeping up. The reason why it'd be bad for a battle ready weapon cause war it self has change. The shinwa blade almost good as the cold steel line but cold steel does have better grade of steel I think.
But if you want some thing that will get job done like in guerilla/urban warfare tryout a machete. Both my parents came from central america and both fought and used machete ever day. In fact my mom cutter her finger off with one. The best line think for machete companies is Imacasa, Tramontina, Condor knife, Ontario knife co (US), Bellotto, Aranyak from thailand and Cold Steel co from US. All the company I've named all use high carbon steel and spring steel in their blades. I believe that machete are better in war fare and defense then Katanas due to the size movement need for the katanas. Got remember samurai sword where design for felid clashing armies not for close courters. Machetes are made use in close courters. You can even put them on the floor board of you truck cause there tool first weapon next. hope I help you

Take a Breath, People
by: theBlackRonin

I have trusted this website for help with online weapon purchases for several years now. One thing I have always admired about martial arts enthusiasts, ESPECIALLY SWORDSMAN is the amount of respect we show one another, even in our infant stages. As I read through the stream I noticed people being barrated and insulted for their opinions. However misguided these opinions may be, calling someone "Stupid" or "Retarded" or really anything of that nature only goes to prove how much of a pompous and detestible Moron you are. I dont know about the rest of you, but I have been mocked more than enough by people in the world, as I am sure all of you have been at one point. And now you mock and insult each other, as if we were not all cut from the same cloth. The bottom line is that there are two kinds of people in the world: those who live by the sword, and those who do not. We are all brothers in steel. So show some Respect.

Shinwa Swords.
by: Daniel of Nebraska

Shinwa swords are an excellent sword for the beginner and for the price. Damascus steel is not comparable with spring steel or any other steel using the Maru technique of Japanese sword blade forging. Just because we don't use swords in war doe's not mean we have given up the sword or the practice of swordsmanship. Anyway swords are still in use today and I have fought several duels with swords in my younger day's. The world we live in isn't as sweet as some may think. Thank you Daniel of Nebraska.

to anonymos(april 5, 2013
by: jonathan

the reason we are comparing swords is that some swords are better than others in their construction, quality of steel, and temper. what, may i ask you, would be the point of a sword that breaks off at the guard on the first blow? yes the shinwa sword look nice, and yes you could kill someone with them, but are they tempered properly to withstand impact? can they do it repeatedly? will they hold the edge they come with, or would it be a constant battle to keep them sharp? further, please dont insult us by calling anyone with a slightly different viewpoint than yours by caling people retards.

To Jonathan
by: Daniel of Nebraska

I have tested a few Shinwa swords,the traditional curved katana,and two different double edge long swords,I was surprised that all three swords were tough sharp, held their edge and were durable. Like I said before a good sword for the money and for the beginner. Thank you Daniel of Nebraska.

shinwa swords
by: Anonymous

Hi guys. I just wanted to comment on the shinwa sword topic. I own many shinwa swords and they are awesome. I don't use my swords I only look at them so I can testify to the overall durability of them but I can say that I have two orange Damascus shinwas that are more beautiful than any sword I see for under $1000. If nothing else I can say they are incredible pieces of artwork. The orange Damascus blades make standard carbon steel blades look boaring. When my friends come over and look at my swords..They all walk by the standard blades and go ooh and ahh over the orange Damascus shinwas. Every body who sees them loves them. The shinwa swords are thick and solid and I doubt you could break one very easy. I love shinwa products and will continue to buy them..

shinwa damascus
by: Anonymous

Also.. Where else can you get a beautiful Damascus sword for under $150..? I have never found another sword like my orange Damascus shinwas for that price..

Use whatever is at hand.
by: T.K.

There are collectors, practitioners and novices and there are blades suitable for each. No blade possesses the magic to fit all needs or styles, nor do they automatically convey requisite skills. As one moves up in awareness and ability he/she may require a different instrument. Musashi used a carved boat oar to defeat a leading sword master.

excellent lesson
by: Daniel of Nebraska

I just wanted to say T.K. is absolutely right,and I love the story of one of the finest samurai in Japans history he did in fact dual maybe a better swordsman with a boat ore and the rising sun behind his back.Good job T.K. Your friend Daniel of Nebraska.

excellent lesson
by: Daniel of Nebraska

I just wanted to say T.K. is absolutely right,and I love the story of one of the finest samurai in Japans history he did in fact dual maybe a better swordsman with a boat ore and the rising sun behind his back.Good job T.K. Your friend Daniel of Nebraska.

Anonymous with the orange Shinwa Katana
by: Ward

I am replying to the person who likes the orange Shinwa Katana. I am wondering where you purchased the orange katana? Sounds like a really cool color. I am a beginner collector and have purchased several Shinwa swords. Can you steer me in the right direction so I can see or purchase an orange Shinwa? Thanks Ward

orange shinwa
by: Anonymous

Yes you can get them on ebay. He has a few different shinwas for good prices. Ebay item # 121134539420. I love this sword and could not be more happy with it. You won't regret buying one they are just awesome!

Shinwa swords
by: jollebro

My son recently acquired a Shinwa Katana and I was quite impressed with the quality for the price. Ive not seen a sword of its like for the mere $100.00 we paid. it leads me to question its authenticity. I think they meant 2000 layers instead of "folds" in the article though. 2000 layers would be about eleven folds. at the price though i would question the integrity of the welds created in these layers. I would love to see a stress test done on one of these blades to check the memory and durability of the steel. For the price and solidity of this weapon though. I'd recommend it to any collector.

my point exactly
by: jonathan

Thank you, that is my point, I am not questioning shinwas beauty, or that it is folded, I just want to know how well they hod an edge, flex, return to true, and take vibration.

Damn, just answer the question .
by: Razor

Hey fellas , I went on this site to listen hear some reviews on the Shinwa swords . What i found was a few good reviews on quality vs price vs functionality and a lot of disparaging comments by "experts" and ninjas . Look what i want to know is from folks who actually own the blades ,how well they hold up and are they worth the money for the price . The general consensus is that they are good for the money and for that i thank you . I do own quite a few knives from traditional Gurka Kukuri to Cold steel tanto's and sword canes. I love the cold steel products but the reason i am looking at the Shinwa blind samurai sword cane is for hiking . I like to have a stick with me and whats better than one with a sword in it ? Yes I also have my Glock .40 subcompact with me ,but i figure it cant hurt to have back up .For me its all about function .If i had to use it is it gonna snap off in my hand and leave me up shits creek ?

shinwa swords.
by: Anonymous

I own own many shinwa swords and I think they are of good quality for this price. I don't know much about the sword canes but the shinwa swords I have a rock solid and have a great razor sharp edge. The blades are 1/4 inch thick at the base and I just don't see how it could ever be broken without running over it with a tank but I don't use swords I only collect them so I really can't testify to the durability. I read lots of reviews about shinwas and it seems that most people love them. Some people have used them and most of them say that they are good functional swords for this price line. I have NEVER found anybody say that their shinwa broke when the used it so I doubt you have to worry about them breaking. Good luck!

shinwa swords.
by: Anonymous

I own own many shinwa swords and I think they are of good quality for this price. I don't know much about the sword canes but the shinwa swords I have a rock solid and have a great razor sharp edge. The blades are 1/4 inch thick at the base and I just don't see how it could ever be broken without running over it with a tank but I don't use swords I only collect them so I really can't testify to the durability. I read lots of reviews about shinwas and it seems that most people love them. Some people have used them and most of them say that they are good functional swords for this price line. I have NEVER found anybody say that their shinwa broke when the used it so I doubt you have to worry about them breaking. Good luck!

sword canes
by: Anonymous

On the sword cane topic you may want to check out kit rae sword canes or gil hibben sword canes. Kit rae makes great quality stuff and the reviews on his sword canes are very good. I have also found that gil hibben products are very trust worthy so you may want to check them out also.. good luck

Walking Canes
by: Daniel of Nebraska

I agree a Gil Hibben or a Kit Rae is by far the best. You need to know how long a cane you want, Kit Rae's cane is 39", Hibben's about 36.5".

Walking Canes
by: Daniel of Nebraska

I agree a Gil Hibben or a Kit Rae is by far the best. You need to know how long a cane you want, Kit Rae's cane is 39", Hibben's about 36.5".

in response to the quality if shinwa swords.
by: decay

Okay I'll start off by saying to each, his own. I would never under any circumstance advise or condone the purchase, trade, gifting, bartering or use of a shinwa sword for anything more than as a wall hanger.they work for light cutting but there are many better options, especially once you get into the 100+ dollar range. If you want something to preform for aminimum of one fifty, go for CAS HANWEI katanas.hanwei is a great choice for edged weapons period.I've never owned a cold steel blade so I can't speak for them. But I purchased hanwei raptor series katana from sbg sword store about a year ago.although there was a bit of a wait for it because of back ordering (which I hear is unusual for sbg) I was extremely happy. Talk about quality, that's why I trust sbg. My friend bought a"katana"from shinwa and it was a disgusting waste of money. They ARE NOT BY ANY MEANS DAMASCUS! Its fucking paint. Trust me we saved it off and tried to re-etch with no success. True damascus to my knowledge does not come in bright shades of red and copper nor pitch black. It's typically black and silver or light and dark showing the darker carbon rich layers and the lighter carbon deprived layers.unless its wootz danascus which has more silvery layers because of the trace amounts of nickel. And the reason no one hears of shinwa swords breaking is because they don't, THEY BEND! In question marks,s shapes even squares.because its shit steel, not high carbon. High carbon steel hasa spring temper so itsnaps back to shape after bending. I doubt they quench or temper their blades at all.i bent the damn thing over my knee dozens of times, I even folded it in half using a hammer, while at room temperature. Huge waste of money and effort. If you can't get ahold of the makers of sword except for third party middlemen don't buy from them. You can't contact the shinwa company because they don't exist it's an inferior company making an inferior product in my opinion. You get what you pay for. I used my thirty dollar Gerber knife to literally shave the edge off of the shinwa till it WA blunt. Didn't hurt my crappy knife a bit.the sword initially bent when my Buddy mike accidentally hit a plastic trash can whilst cutting a milk jug. For the money he spent he could have, and now wishes he would have bought ahanwei that cuts cleanly through three inch thick bamboo.hope this helped.

shinwa
by: Anonymous

The orange Damascus shinwas are dyed between layers to get that awesome colored Damascus. So yes it is paint between the layers. I would say that's obvious because Damascus steel does not come in red orange and purple.. There is no question that the steel is cheep!.. The swords are only 100-150. What should you expect for that price? Either way they are full tang and beautiful to look at. I did read that some people who used the shinwa swords say that they cut great and hold a edge well so it seems to be a matter of use. What are you cutting with you're sword.. I am sure a shinwa sword would slice a zombie into pieces with no effort. I would love to try it and see for myself. Anybody know where I can find a random zombie to try it on??..LOL!!

shinwa
by: Anonymous

The orange Damascus shinwas are dyed between layers to get that awesome colored Damascus. So yes it is paint between the layers. I would say that's obvious because Damascus steel does not come in red orange and purple.. There is no question that the steel is cheep!.. The swords are only 100-150. What should you expect for that price? Either way they are full tang and beautiful to look at. I did read that some people who used the shinwa swords say that they cut great and hold a edge well so it seems to be a matter of use. What are you cutting with you're sword.. I am sure a shinwa sword would slice a zombie into pieces with no effort. I would love to try it and see for myself. Anybody know where I can find a random zombie to try it on??..LOL!!

shinwa
by: Anonymous

The orange Damascus shinwas are dyed between layers to get that awesome colored Damascus. So yes it is paint between the layers. I would say that's obvious because Damascus steel does not come in red orange and purple.. There is no question that the steel is cheep!.. The swords are only 100-150. What should you expect for that price? Either way they are full tang and beautiful to look at. I did read that some people who used the shinwa swords say that they cut great and hold a edge well so it seems to be a matter of use. What are you cutting with you're sword.. I am sure a shinwa sword would slice a zombie into pieces with no effort. I would love to try it and see for myself. Anybody know where I can find a random zombie to try it on??..LOL!!

shinwa
by: Anonymous

The orange Damascus shinwas are dyed between layers to get that awesome colored Damascus. So yes it is paint between the layers. I would say that's obvious because Damascus steel does not come in red orange and purple.. There is no question that the steel is cheep!.. The swords are only 100-150. What should you expect for that price? Either way they are full tang and beautiful to look at. I did read that some people who used the shinwa swords say that they cut great and hold a edge well so it seems to be a matter of use. What are you cutting with you're sword.. I am sure a shinwa sword would slice a zombie into pieces with no effort. I would love to try it and see for myself. Anybody know where I can find a random zombie to try it on??..LOL!!

that is not the point
by: jonathan

So, not real damascus, trash grade carbon-steel, painted, and may as well not be tempered. Good, now I won't waste my cash

2nd response to quality of shitwa swords.
by: decay

Well they aren't the worst I've seen, substantially better than a thirteen dollar bud k special with a cardboard sheath. I don't remember the exact name of the model.but it was a flush from handle to sheath, no handguard. the handle wasn't even peened or held by bamboo inserts, it was fucking glued with shitty two part epoxy, after a couple of Weeks of use it would have definitely separated and could have caused injury. Their blades look nice, they have decent functionality as a light cutter for paper targets or fruit but I guarantee up against a human like figure such as a zombie or gel mold with plastic spine, that it would bend and disfigure when it struck bone. It bent when it hit a plastic trashcan for crying out loud. Now while it may get you by in a life or death situation it won't perform constantly and indefinitely. For a hundred and fifty you can grab a hanwei tactical katana which is 5160 spring tempered steel with a rust resistant coating, it has a beautiful handle made to last that does not come apart. Full tang, thick heavy glorious blade and a fiberglass saya with adrain hole so it won't hold water. Its military grade lol. And I dare anyone to buy said hanwei and do a clash test agsinst a shinwa of similar price I bet ten bucks the shinwa gets cut at least half way through if not in half completely. And the hanwei isnt hardly damaged at all,if anything it will have a small portion of the cutting edge that chips or dulls at most. Try it at your own risk, battle ready does not mean it will stand up to blade on blade contact, as this is horrible for swords. It means they're ready to remove heads and limbs and should stand up to a wooden shield. A shinwa would be decimated by a wooden shield. It would be decimated by s sideways blow to soft soil covered with grass. Just go to YouTube and watch the bud k videos of their shinwa cutting demonstrstions and pay close Steven to how many swords they ruin with simple backyard cutting. But with swords as with anything else, do your research before you spend your or someone elses hard earned cash. That's what this forum/store/reviews are for. wee sword people are family, and family doesn't let family get fucked. Happy hunting, purchase something to be proud of that can be handed down through the ages. You can't buy a Ferrari for two grand you know? Buy quality,get quality.

Shinwa swords.
by: Javier Mendoza

I've never owned a Shinwa sword I've only read about them but from what I read they seem to be a pretty good battle ready sword, they are very good looking swords, From what I've read most Shinwa swords are made like this: The blade is a 28 1/2" Damascus steel blade, The handle is wrapped in Genuine ray skin, Cast zinc menuki and tsuba.

So you know to be it sounds like a pretty good sword to own if you want to train as a real swords-men and not just have something to hang up on your wall, but even if you do just want to have it sitting around to look cool they are very good looking swords as well.

shinwa swords
by: Anonymous

I agree with Javier. Shinwa swords are beautiful and functional. They are NOT professional quality swords but are great for beginners and collectors alike. I have commented here before about the orange Damascus shinwas and I just can't say enough good things about them. Every single person who walks into my sword room drools and oohhhs and ahhhs over the Damascus shinwas. Few other swords get this response from people. I think that alone says a lot about shinwa swords. If you want a sword to use on a professional level I think you would spend 500-1000 on a hanwei or cold steel product. If you just like cool swords that look awesome and are functional than the shinwas are a good buy.

but they aren't!
by: Anonymous

Yes they are beautiful, and eye-catching, and yada yada yada, but they are not, repeat NOT functional. If a sword is untempered, it is worth no more as a weapon than the steel it is made of. Folding steel lowers its carbon content, which makes it too soft to hold an edge, or resist bending, and is the reason charcoal AND coal are traditionally used when doing any kind of forging, to introduce new carbon to the steel. If it ain't t tempered it may as well be stainless. We are ralking about their QUALITY not their aesthetic appeal.

shinwa quality
by: Anonymous

I am by no means a expert in quality of steel but my understanding of Damascus steel is that it's some of the best steel in the world for making swords.(next to spring steel) From what I read, Damascus steel is supposed to be superior in flexibility than standard steel. I doubt the shinwa Damascus is the best quality damascus steel but doesn't the fact that it's folded/damascus make it superior to standard carbon steel swords? Also.. Shinwa advertises their swords as functional and they have been advertising that for years. If they were not functional I don't think they could advertise them as such..?? .. I also believe that beauty in aesthetics is a sign of quality. Isn't that what we are talking about?.. quality?.. Yes I understand that this conversation includes functionality but beauty and aesthetics are also signs of quality in my opinion. The question on this page says "quality of shinwa swords" not "functionality of shinwa swords".. With that being said I am also very interested in peoples opinions of the true functionality of shinwa swords.. So it seems that we have two topics combined into one conversation. I am very close to taking one of my shinwas out for a test to see if it bends into a ? or S shape after I cut some shrubs with it.... Oh.. and for the guy who said you can't chop a zombie in half with a shinwa... Have you been watching walking dead??? Rick cuts clear through the skull of a zombie with a simple gerber gator machete... So my guess is that zombies are all soft and smushy and can be cut up easy... According to Walking dead.. LOL! Michonne also makes quick work of them with her awesome katana...Anybody have opinions about michonnes katana??? The M.C. WD 001.. I own one and it's beautiful but I doubt it's functional..????

But Why Is It Straight?
by: bushi808

I posted this question few times -but no answer. If a samurai katana get its nimble curvature from clay tempering/quenching then HOW CAN A NINJA KATANA stay straight after clay tempering? All ninja katana were acid made with hamon?

in response to the quality if shinwa swords.
by: decay

Folding the steel doesn't make it stronger. It makes it homogenous. Steels of non purity have to be folded to get an achieved purity our in the case of Damascus the desired pattern.and you could achieve a straight blade by clay tempering and water quenching if you "pre-curve" the blade in the opposite direction in the forging process before quenching but it's probably tricky and takes a while to learn. Swords are just large knives, so if you learn about how knives are made you can Carry that knowledge over to swords. You can't even tell the pattern of a Damascus steel until you acid etch the steel, the different carbon contents oxidize in different shades therefore revealing the waves, bars, swirls out mosaics and so on. swords just like knives are made in two ways, forging and stock removal. Forging is obvious, stick removal means it was a bar and the cnced or ground it to shape before the heat treat and tempering. Forged swords are more expensive because of the time love and labor involved. It doesn't make either better aside from personal preference. not all steels are made equal, and you get what you pay for. Do research, if you have certain tools and money to buy steel and things I would suggest making your own swords. Because then if it fails, you are to Blame and bio one else. It's a very spiritual bond between man and metal. You can Learn loads on knife forums and in my case YouTube. DO YOUR RESEARCH! I can't stress this enough. Stay safe everyone and enjoy, spread the knowledge.

Shinwa
by: Anonymous

Shinwa translation japanese 神話 means
Mythology
definition
ideas that are believed by many people but that are not true
that should be nuf said

Shinwa
by: Anonymous

Shinwa translation japanese 神話 means
Mythology
definition
ideas that are believed by many people but that are not true
that should be nuf said

Shinawa
by: Anonymous

I don't usually buy from Bud K, but they sent me a catalog selling a Damascus ninja katana for $100. I bought it, and the Damascus looks real to me as I own a bunch of Japanese cooking knives(Kasumi and others). I read years ago that a Japanese steel micromill produces the Damascus in bars and other shapes. Judging from the craftsmanship, the blade appears to be made entirely by stock removal. The blade is strong and bends and returns to shape. I spent about two hours with a file and stone and put a wicked razor edge on it. I actually took it outside and tried to break it by whacking on saplings about 1' in diameter. It's tough. I wanted it to intimidate intruders and defend my family when I run out of bullets, and it fits the bill perfectly.

Shinwa test
by: Anonymous

I agree with the previous comment. I have many shinwa swords and most of them are to beautiful to use but I took a used one I got one ebay for dirt cheep and tested it on some shrubs and such. I purchased it for this very reason so that I could test one without risking damage to my nice ones.. It performed admirably for the price range.. No bending or damage at all. Held up great and still looks perfect. My opinion is that shinwa swords are great low priced swords.

Knuckle Heads
by: Daniel Voges

Normally I am nothing but respectful but enough is enough, the reason for being anonymous is because you don't know your head from a hole in the ground. It is clear you have no training what so ever, this go's double for Mr. decay, I'll bet not one of you has ever used a sword or wouldn't even know where to begin. Let me make this as simple as I can, Damascus steel is folded in what ever way the sword smith chooses, first he has to make a billet the smith will use both high and low carbon steels this gives color to the steel, high carbon is dark or black, low carbon is gray, sometimes he will add nickel for a shinny sequence, when the blade is ready for tempering he uses acids to wipe the blade during tempering, this brings out the lines and patterns, it's similar to staining wood it brings out the grain. I am 56 years old I've been a swordsman since I was 19, I own many swords, expensive and inexpensive, lately I have been using a Shinwa Regal it has proven to be a quite good sword. If any of you new anything know this all it takes is a sturdy sword, training and experience takes care of the rest. To answer bushi808's question. Clay tempering has nothing to do with curvature of the blade, during the tempering stage the clay is removed from the edge only this causes the steel to crystalize along the edge making the edge stronger, after tempering this leaves a line on the blade from the clay called the hamon.

r u f'n wit me
by: gibb

Hi to low carbon for no reason other than color I have never heard anything so stupid and the fact that it came from a supposed swordsman of age makes me ill carbon content is about density steel like low carbon stainless is very dense and his makes it brittle impact with equally dense metals could cause it to shatter strictly high carbon steel is more malable
mixes between the two are not for how pretty it is
High carbon steel is repeatedivly folded around all but one edge of low carbon steel high carbon takes a beating low carbon hones a better edge
STOP LISTINING TO SELF PROCLAIMED SWORDSMEN TALK TO A SMITHY

r u f'n wit me
by: gibb

Hi to low carbon for no reason other than color I have never heard anything so stupid and the fact that it came from a supposed swordsman of age makes me ill carbon content is about density steel like low carbon stainless is very dense and his makes it brittle impact with equally dense metals could cause it to shatter strictly high carbon steel is more malable
mixes between the two are not for how pretty it is
High carbon steel is repeatedivly folded around all but one edge of low carbon steel high carbon takes a beating low carbon hones a better edge
STOP LISTINING TO SELF PROCLAIMED SWORDSMEN TALK TO A SMITHY

gibb is correct.
by: jonathan

The fact that high and low carbon steels oxidize to different colors is purely coincidental. It is done to combine the qualities of both, high carbon for its wdge retention, low for its flexibility. The shinwa swords are not, and do not generally claim to be, differentially hardened, which is what produces both the hamon and the curve on a real katana. Imo you can get a far, far better sword for the same price or just a bit more.

I say buy it.
by: Double D

I own several Shinwa blades along with other Chinese manufactured blade and a few traditionally made Japanese blades, and as for the Shinwa's I can say they are top shelf for the price. Most swords made in China are made in the same region and this region has been making swords for some time. I would see if you can find it at a cheaper price. My favorite is their "nodachi" which is more like a nagamaki and compared with my Cold Steel one I feel that Cold Steel ripped me off. I own Ronin, Cold Steel, Onikiri, Shinwa and I have a Dragonfly Forge that I bought second hand.

final reply to quality of shinwa "battle ready" swords.
by: decay

Okay everyone, I encourage you all to watch this video very closely. Notice the first sword in the vide, the handle falls apart after light cutting...not good for a sword with a $189 price tag. Notice they don't say anything about it because most of you will buy it anyway. As far as beauty, they do look pleasing. As far as performance goes...they will work for light cutting or to kill zombies as a last resort. As far as "battle ready" they most certainly are not ready for any battle situation. Don't be fooled guys, please don't buy these...you're going to injure yourself or others cutting light targets. Compare these to a CAS HANWEI tactical katana that retails for $150. The second sword in the video was the one I mentioned in previous comments...the one that broke all to hell. The one that my $40 Gerber knife shaved the edge off of. The one that bent when we accidentally hit a plastic trashcan.


http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0P4F2e5v7DQ#

Poor Mr. Decay
by: Anonymous

You do not know the circumstances for what happened in your you tube video, what had happened could happen to anyone that disassembles a sword and doesn't reassemble it properly. And by the way anyone that mentions zombies cannot be taken seriously.

Shinwa
by: Anonymous

Shinwa swords are great swords for the price! I love both of mine and have tested them but not on anything to solid and haven't accidentally hit them on other crap. Respect the sword and it will serve well!

Damascus ?
by: Prof. D. Shelton Parker

I too have something to say about Damascus Steel.
It has never been made in this day and age.
So far, it is a lost art.
What they say is Damascus Steel today is not.
True Damascus Steel has NANO-TUBES in it.
For many years now, scientist from around the world have been trying to make TRUE DAMASCUS steel, but it has not been possible.
What is called Damascus today is only folded steel or cable. It looks good, but it is only looks.

I hope they can find the way to make it, before I pass away.

Have a nice life gentlemen.
Stop acting like children with all the name calling.

Prof. D. Shelton Parker

Temper and blade shape...
by: Kyle

The method of tempering a blade and the shape of the blade really have nothing to do with each other. The shape of the blade is determined by the smith as he hammers the glowing hot metal. Once the blade has been shaped the smith will choose a method of tempering that will produce the desired traits in the finished blade. A straight blade will not magically become curved using clay tempering, nor will a curved blade become straight from not using clay tempering. Clay acts as an insulator to the portion of the blade it is wrapped around so that it does not reach the same temperature as the exposed portion of the blade, then when the blade is quenched the molecules of metal are locked in the condition they were in based upon the temperature they were heated to. The hotter the metal at the time of quenching, the harder the temper. When making a straight blade if one chooses to do so on can simply use the edge of the forge fire so that the back of the blade is away from the heat and only the edge of the blade is in the fire and then by watching the color change of the metal determine when to quench, this is a difficult technique and requires much skill and is even harder to do with a curved blade as there will be portions of the middle of the blade that end up too deep in the fire, or portions of the ends of the blade that aren't deep enough or a mix of both making an uneven temper and a blade that will break. By wrapping the back of the blade in clay one can simply thrust the entire blade into the center of the fire wait till the exposed edge glows cherry or what ever color is needed to produce the desired qualities, then quench it. The material used to quench also plays a role in what the finished product will be like, many smiths have a favorite depending on what they're making or the purpose it will be put to. Quenching in oil produces a softer metal than quenching in water and there are differences between salt and fresh water and even the temperature of the water makes a difference. But blade shape and temper method are determined by the smith, not one by the other, a skilled smith can make any shape of blade he wants and still use what ever temper method he chooses.

An Excellent Article
by: Daniel of Nebraska

Well done Kyle, an very well written article. It is to bad their are so many that doesn't understand or believe what you have said. As for Shinwa swords the same is true, it is not the sword that cut's it is the swordsman. As I have always stated, all it takes is a sturdy sword the rest comes from training and experience. Shinwa swords are a sturdy sword. Thank you, Daniel of Nebraska.

Bladesmithing
by: RedBeard

There was some misinformation in a previous post that was erroneous.

Quenching and tempering are not the same thing.
Quenching sets the grain structure of the steel by bringing it above non-magnetic (which is different for each particular steel or alloy) and then rapidly pulling the heat out to set it (oil & water both do a good job of this).
This gives it hardness.
To bring toughness back into the steel, you have to temper it. This means bringing it up to a temperature at which the structure exchanges the hardness for toughness. This will be different depending on the alloy and the application of the blade, but is _always_ below non-magnetic (spring is around 450 degrees +or- 50 degrees depending on suitability to the task and alloy.
A sword should have the spring fully put back in. Without this, you will end up with a broken blade as it will try to resist the movement and snap (which is what a hard steel does).
Heating the entire blade for a quench is easier than tempering the entire blade. Mose people do not have the kind of exact temperature controlled ovens required to fit the entire sword blade into it when tempering.
If you want a sword that holds it's edge and will not break, you should go to a bladesmith.
We no longer have Wootz steel (the origin of Damascus), but we have some very fine modern steels that are uniform and can be combined to make a superior sword to any that existed at any previous time in human history.
We bladesmiths do exist, and we are very good at what we do. We don't need to blow smoke or obfuscate the truth of things to make it harder for others. We want others to become smiths so that we can share our trade and knowledge.

Shinwa
by: RedBeard

I was curious by the claim that Shinwa swords are "hand forged"
Being one who forges blades, I have a hard time putting the love and care into the process and coming out ahead selling a decent knife at that price, let alone the process of making the pattern welded (Damascus) billets to combine into the mass for the blade. I cannot see how they can possibly hand forge this like we do and not get the labor for free and the steel at half the price we do.
This makes me think that they do not put the labor, the expertise, the love in it that we do, nor the quality of steels (multiple alloys of steel to make pattern welded).
We work for well over 120 hours to complete a single sword. This is not a super fancy decorative hilt with a jeweler's touch, just a basic Viking era or bastard length blade. Every bit of it hand forged from selected high carbon steel alloys and made as though they will be used and still be inheritable by the generations that follow.
If anyone knows how they can do what I do for so little, please let me know.. I'm obviously doing something wrong.

Shinwa "hand forged"..
by: Anonymous

I see the previous comment about the hand forging and I am not a expert by any means but I suspect the "hand forged" means that the guy in the factory pressed the button that make the factory run.. Hence the "hand" forged.. Clearly shinwa is pumping out 1000's of these swords and they have a system to do it fast. I highly doubt the shinwa swords as as well made as a expert craftsman would forge himself but they do make a very very beautiful sword that feels rock solid. My opinion of shinwa swords is.. Great looking and feeling display sword with the ability to be used to some extent...

Shinwa
by: Anonymous

I see the previous comment about the hand forging and I am not a expert by any means but I suspect the "hand forged" means that the guy in the factory pressed the button that make the factory run.. Hence the "hand" forged.. Clearly shinwa is pumping out 1000's of these swords and they have a system to do it fast. I highly doubt the shinwa swords as as well made as a expert craftsman would forge himself but they do make a very very beautiful sword that feels rock solid. My opinion of shinwa swords is.. Great looking and feeling display sword with the ability to be used to some extent...

Shinwa
by: Anonymous

I see the previous comment about the hand forging and I am not a expert by any means but I suspect the "hand forged" means that the guy in the factory pressed the button that make the factory run.. Hence the "hand" forged.. Clearly shinwa is pumping out 1000's of these swords and they have a system to do it fast. I highly doubt the shinwa swords as as well made as a expert craftsman would forge himself but they do make a very very beautiful sword that feels rock solid. My opinion of shinwa swords is.. Great looking and feeling display sword with the ability to be used to some extent...

"Anyone who mentions zombies is a moron"
by: Anonymous

FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, on their website, a government website, says to prepare for a zombie apocalypse. Not saying they are right. Not saying I believe it. The Federal Government is saying to prepare, so how about you show some respect for those who are.

Zombies...
by: Anonymous

Wow really?.. FEMA says to prepare for this? Must be they watch a lot of walking dead also.. LOL!! I am going to have to go check that out myself.. I can't believe that's actually on the FEMA website.. Either way I am ready for it.. The only hard part would be which sword I would decide to use to slice them up when they come.. LOL!!.. Lets just hope that never happens..

horsepooey
by: Goblin

after reading many of the comments I ponder if any of you are over 12. I suggest you find one to inspect or just buy one. ppl acting like that is a lot of money and claiming to be experts lol. I see pocket knives going for thousands. truth is 99.9999% of all knives and swords are pure junk ! even from custom lol makers. all company made knives are ! if it is good I guarantee you will pay a fortune, because there are ppl with real money waiting in line !

Well, "True Swords" sells Shinwa Swords now
by: Geo

It is hard to believe that it has been 5 years since my last comment and the debate continues on. I learned about "Trueswords.com" from this site and I am grateful to this site for the resources as well as its references. Even though I like Shinwa swords for practical purposes, as does my martial artist swordsman friend, (chasing a bear off with his without the need to strike it was one of his practical uses), I was still a little surprised to see them now being sold on "Trueswords.com". Not because I doubted their quality, but because I mainly saw them on "BUDK.com" and a few other random anonymous sites that seemed less reputable. To me this adds to their credibility, especially since "Trueswords.com" is one of the recommended sites to buy swords from, according to this site. I am also seeing "Trueswords.com" selling a lot of and I mean "a lot of" other products that "BUDK.com" also sells. I could almost swear that if you looked close enough at some of the pictures of some of the same products, that you can see the "BudK" coat of arms on the actual product itself, especially "The Black Mamba Duo" stainless steel sword set you can buy from either site. Although, now it looks like they turned that around so now you can't (I just checked). I also understand that some products are made in the same factory and stamped with a brand name depending on who plans on selling them. "Trueswords.com" sells great quality items, but it is understandable that they would have a range of prices to cater to the needs of different buyers. Heck, they even have a "shop by price" option (which I am a fan of). It makes sense that sites and companies would diversify stock to open up a wider range of clientele. So it seems that "Trueswords.com" and "BudK.com" have more of an overlap than most people would probably be comfortable admitting. Now that "Trueswords.com" sells Shinwa Swords, saying that "they are not worth a second look" seems dated. Perhaps it is time to change the opinion about Shinwa Swords or the opinion about "Trueswords.com". As for me, I am happy with "Trueswords.com" and Shinwa Swords. :-)

Shinwa Black Damascus
by: E. Pok

I am 34 and a long-time sword and knife collector and I have finally made my first black damascus sword purchase and I gotta say, I was a little taken aback when I saw how "true" the sword was not. Upon looking down the edge of the blade I noticed the tang was NOT TRUELY straight all the way down the length of the blade. This may be a common result due to the fact that the swords are hand-forged, but I was still surprised to realize the sword I have been wanting for quite some time was not what I expected. The sword comes razor sharp and ready for action, but I was a little weary to see that the blade is was not surely true down the length of the tang. Hope this helped, good luck future blade buyers.

Do you guys know what metallurgy is?
by: PeteLaRo

I have been reading up to see if the shiny double edged sword I admire is worth buying. I can't believe the non-sense I have read including the "professsor" claiming that the old sword masters built nanotechnology - nano-tubes, into the swords and that wootz steel and tamanagawa, Japanese sand iron collected with magnets and only still built from scratch by swordsmith/priests who are authorized to do so, still make it. A lump of tamanagawa will set you back $76-200 and a shaving razor, the modern salary-man's katana, can go for $1, Professor, wootz steel is still available from India, usually in old billet balls, and there are many inclusions and gaps from oxidation. I am a knife maker because I have little use for a sword and simply use a machete, I like the Thai machete swords from cold steel (a brand name, not a type of steel) and an old fashioned Tomahawk, which in some draconian States run by political thugs who would prefer you to be a helpless victim, are all you can own and even then they outlaw throwing axes and knives as if you couldn't throw any well made hatchet. I have been forced to defend myself with both against several opponents at a time and was lucky to have kept them by my bed, a short sword like the wakizashi or short straight single edge is better because you can stab and if the enemy is on top of you and in a senseless drug crazed rage, you can put your off hand against the back edge to press it against his throat when he tries (and he will) to rip it from your hands. The guy lost his nose, fingertips, jugular and several others got shredded to but all survived because I foolishly tried to reason with them. A gun would have ended it before it began with a warning shot or one in the head. But if you aren't allowed to own one, break the law, you have a constitutional and natural right to defend your home and life (and you took the gun from the crook ;)) otherwise, a sword is good and a stun gun. Pepper Spray contamination is a bitch to get rid of and you choke. Back to Damascus. No, despite what some references say, the bend in a katana was there to start with and most were made by the worst Smith around because it was your last line of defense! Just like now, not all the troops could afford the best and not all the steel was the same. Same thing today with the obsidian Renaissance. No one bothered to mention Rockwell hardness, so I must assume you don't know it's the standard test using a diamond bearing pressed into the steel a certain the psi recorded. Cubic zirconia blades are second in hardness only to diamond, but are brittle. I expect someone to design a weapon with a ceramic edge and titanium backing soon. Some authorities say Damascus shouldn't be folded more than 15 times or you lose hardness and the best clay contains charcoal carbon, bone calcium, blood and iron filings and that the clay bed of the Forge should be soaked in mineral water all night before the forging the next morning. There are several different ways katana blades are laminated and the red blades you see have a manganese oxide making them that way, NEVER USE OIL OR PETROLEUM PRODUCTS ON THIS BLADE! Use AG Russell "rust free" silicone or wd 40 and never take the rust off the tank, it's supposed to be there to reinforce it. You can also gun blue or brown the blade to protect it from the elements and fruit acid, blood, and plant sap will stain any blade except stainless steel and ceramics. Try to remember folks, you can always mix and match the furniture from say, Micronesia sword with a better blade, I have seen some on sale from China. You are unlikely to face opponents in armor unless it's corrupt government troops and don't bother trying to get through the ceramic breastfeeding plate, go for the throat and eyes. Expect to die immediately after, but that's Bushido, you are already dead and accept it for your Lord! There are sources in Japanese museums and virtual walk throughs to sword exhibits and I highly recommend the 'World War Z' book by Max Brooks, not based on Pitt's disaster, for zombie fans. Arigato, PeteLaRo.

Do you guys know what metallurgy is?
by: PeteLaRo

I have been reading up to see if the shiny double edged sword I admire is worth buying. I can't believe the non-sense I have read including the "professsor" claiming that the old sword masters built nanotechnology - nano-tubes, into the swords and that wootz steel and tamanagawa, Japanese sand iron collected with magnets and only still built from scratch by swordsmith/priests who are authorized to do so, still make it. A lump of tamanagawa will set you back $76-200 and a shaving razor, the modern salary-man's katana, can go for $1, Professor, wootz steel is still available from India, usually in old billet balls, and there are many inclusions and gaps from oxidation. I am a knife maker because I have little use for a sword and simply use a machete, I like the Thai machete swords from cold steel (a brand name, not a type of steel) and an old fashioned Tomahawk, which in some draconian States run by political thugs who would prefer you to be a helpless victim, are all you can own and even then they outlaw throwing axes and knives as if you couldn't throw any well made hatchet. I have been forced to defend myself with both against several opponents at a time and was lucky to have kept them by my bed, a short sword like the wakizashi or short straight single edge is better because you can stab and if the enemy is on top of you and in a senseless drug crazed rage, you can put your off hand against the back edge to press it against his throat when he tries (and he will) to rip it from your hands. The guy lost his nose, fingertips, jugular and several others got shredded to but all survived because I foolishly tried to reason with them. A gun would have ended it before it began with a warning shot or one in the head. But if you aren't allowed to own one, break the law, you have a constitutional and natural right to defend your home and life (and you took the gun from the crook ;)) otherwise, a sword is good and a stun gun. Pepper Spray contamination is a bitch to get rid of and you choke. Back to Damascus. No, despite what some references say, the bend in a katana was there to start with and most were made by the worst Smith around because it was your last line of defense! Just like now, not all the troops could afford the best and not all the steel was the same. Same thing today with the obsidian Renaissance. No one bothered to mention Rockwell hardness, so I must assume you don't know it's the standard test using a diamond bearing pressed into the steel a certain the psi recorded. Cubic zirconia blades are second in hardness only to diamond, but are brittle. I expect someone to design a weapon with a ceramic edge and titanium backing soon. Some authorities say Damascus shouldn't be folded more than 15 times or you lose hardness and the best clay contains charcoal carbon, bone calcium, blood and iron filings and that the clay bed of the Forge should be soaked in mineral water all night before the forging the next morning. There are several different ways katana blades are laminated and the red blades you see have a manganese oxide making them that way, NEVER USE OIL OR PETROLEUM PRODUCTS ON THIS BLADE! Use AG Russell "rust free" silicone or wd 40 and never take the rust off the tank, it's supposed to be there to reinforce it. You can also gun blue or brown the blade to protect it from the elements and fruit acid, blood, and plant sap will stain any blade except stainless steel and ceramics. Try to remember folks, you can always mix and match the furniture from say, Micronesia sword with a better blade, I have seen some on sale from China. You are unlikely to face opponents in armor unless it's corrupt government troops and don't bother trying to get through the ceramic breastfeeding plate, go for the throat and eyes. Expect to die immediately after, but that's Bushido, you are already dead and accept it for your Lord! There are sources in Japanese museums and virtual walk throughs to sword exhibits and I highly recommend the 'World War Z' book by Max Brooks, not based on Pitt's disaster, for zombie fans. Arigato, PeteLaRo.

Do you guys know what metallurgy is?
by: PeteLaRo

I have been reading up to see if the shinwa double edged sword I admire is worth buying. I can't believe the non-sense I have read including the "professsor" claiming that the old sword masters built nanotechnology - nano-tubes, into the swords and that wootz steel and tamanagawa, Japanese sand iron collected with magnets and only still built from scratch by swordsmith/priests who are authorized to do so, still make it. A lump of tamanagawa will set you back $76-200 and a shaving razor, the modern salary-man's katana, can go for $1,600! Professor, wootz steel is still available from India, usually in old billet balls, and there are many inclusions and gaps from oxidation. I am a knife maker because I have little use for a sword and simply use a machete, I like the Thai machete swords from cold steel (a brand name, not a type of steel) and an old fashioned Tomahawk, which in some draconian States run by political thugs who would prefer you to be a helpless victim, are all you can own and even then they outlaw throwing axes and knives as if you couldn't throw any well made hatchet. I have been forced to defend myself with both against several opponents at a time and was lucky to have kept them by my bed, a short sword like the wakizashi or short straight single edge is better because you can stab and if the enemy is on top of you and in a senseless drug crazed rage, you can put your off hand against the back edge to press it against his throat when he tries (and he will) to rip it from your hands. The guy lost his nose, fingertips, jugular and several others got shredded too, but all survived because I foolishly tried to reason with them. A gun would have ended it before it began with a warning shot or one in the head. But if you aren't allowed to own one, break the law, you have a constitutional and natural right to defend your home and life (and you took the gun from the crook ;)) otherwise, a sword is good and a stun gun. Pepper Spray contamination is a bitch to get rid of and you choke. Back to Damascus. No, despite what some references say, the bend in a katana was there to start with and most were made by the worst Smith around because it was your last line of defense! Just like now, not all the troops could afford the best and not all the steel was the same. Same thing today with the obsidian Renaissance. No one bothered to mention Rockwell hardness, so I must assume you don't know it's the standard test using a diamond bearing pressed into the steel a certain the psi recorded. Cubic zirconia blades are second in hardness only to diamond, but are brittle. I expect someone to design a weapon with a ceramic edge and titanium backing soon. Some authorities say Damascus shouldn't be folded more than 15 times or you lose hardness and the best clay contains charcoal carbon, bone calcium, blood and iron filings and that the clay bed of the Forge should be soaked in mineral water all night before the forging the next morning. There are several different ways katana blades are laminated and the red blades you see have a manganese oxide making them that way, NEVER USE OIL OR PETROLEUM PRODUCTS ON THIS BLADE! Use AG Russell "rust free" silicone or wd 40 and never take the rust off the tang, it's supposed to be there to reinforce it. You can also gun blue or brown the blade to protect it from the elements and fruit acid, blood, and plant sap will stain any blade except stainless steel and ceramics. Try to remember folks, you can always mix and match the furniture from say, Micchonne's sword with a better blade, I have seen some on sale from China. You are unlikely to face opponents in armor unless it's corrupt government troops and don't bother trying to get through the ceramic breast plate, go for the throat and eyes. Expect to die immediately after, but that's Bushido, you are already dead and accept it for your Lord! There are sources in Japanese museums and virtual walk throughs to sword exhibits and I highly recommend the 'World War Z' book by Max Brooks, not based on Pitt's disaster, for zombie fans. Arigato, PeteLaRo.

The Shinwa sword
by: Brian

I received the two Shinwa swords I ordered today. And I am happy with both of them. I went to Sword Buyers Guide before I ordered them to see if there was anything I could learn before I purchased them; and what I learned encouraged me to purchase them. However I feel that the dichotomy of the comments made can be confusing so I hope to straighten it out a bit for the next person. First I believe that a person gets what they pay for. I am not going to acquire the real Excalibur for .....99.00 Not only is that immoral/unethical/stealing, but If I am expecting that (and every thing I know about the deal screams impossible) I am setting myself up for failure when I find that I need Excalibur....and that's not what I find I am holding in my hands. Second, What I know about Ninjutsu teaches me that Ninja ( I know this word does not exist in the Japanese language.......but I'm American and it is an American word)Ninja weapons were crude and often failed them, Ninja were mercenaries and had no honor; they were expendable. Their weapons were what they found around them and what they made themselves. not at all like the Samurai whose sword everyone seeks to acquire.........but cannot afford. Show me a real Ninja sword! To my knowledge one does not exist. I find that Shinwa Swords are far better than what I would expect a real Ninja from the period to have had access to and far less than a sword belonging to a real Samurai of the same period. But either sword I purchased is acceptable to me as a weapon to carry today and I believe it to be able to do what I need it to do. Third, I am able to disassemble my firearms and reassemble them from their basic components, clean them properly, and repair any defects I find. I would expect the same of a sword I own. I am the only person to blame for the failure of my weapon. Just like any firearm, if abused, not cared for properly, used in a manner other than as it was constructed for, sword or firearm will break/fail. and quality for this concern does not matter, they all fail. I usually construct all my own weapons, I purchased a Shinwa sword because I am not able to build my own with what I have around me to the standards they have achieved, not even close.........and certainly not for the price.

Comments
by: Nick

Ok. After reading some of the most ridiculous comments I had to chime in. I'll see if I can ask the questions people want to know and throw my two cents in.

First, is the sword cool? It's only $100. I see these "experts" talking about the quality of the sword. Just cause you have more than two knives you purchased from Walmart doesn't make you an expert. Especially if you even talk about zombies in your comments at all. Chances are you still live with your parents. Is it worth a hundred bucks? Does it look cool?

Second, I don't really think anyone cares about the grade of steel or how it's made. It's a $100 "ninja" sword. It's not like your going out getting in a sword fight. Obviously it's cheapl made. What can you really do with it other than chop up some watermelons, pumpkins, or hack up a tree. If you start swinging a sword at a tree chances are you shouldn't own a sword.

In conclusion. Is it cool? Is it a good looking sword? Is it worth the $100? Can I get something better for my money? Don't give me some crap about the metal, how true it is, how some drug crazed guy will attack me and I have a blade that will cut his jugular. Give me real answers.

Comments
by: Nick

Ok. After reading some of the most ridiculous comments I had to chime in. I'll see if I can ask the questions people want to know and throw my two cents in.

First, is the sword cool? It's only $100. I see these "experts" talking about the quality of the sword. Just cause you have more than two knives you purchased from Walmart doesn't make you an expert. Especially if you even talk about zombies in your comments at all. Chances are you still live with your parents. Is it worth a hundred bucks? Does it look cool?

Second, I don't really think anyone cares about the grade of steel or how it's made. It's a $100 "ninja" sword. It's not like your going out getting in a sword fight. Obviously it's cheapl made. What can you really do with it other than chop up some watermelons, pumpkins, or hack up a tree. If you start swinging a sword at a tree chances are you shouldn't own a sword.

In conclusion. Is it cool? Is it a good looking sword? Is it worth the $100? Can I get something better for my money? Don't give me some crap about the metal, how true it is, how some drug crazed guy will attack me and I have a blade that will cut his jugular. Give me real answers.

This is a joke right?
by: zombie douche

I've read a couple comments that seemed real and helpful. All you zombie apocalypse douche bag kids are killing it though. Everyone one knows it take a silver blade dipped in holy water then stuck in Godzilla's butt for 39 minutes, pulled out and heated in the deep freeze for a week, then licked like a lollipop, and bam you have you a zombie apocalypse slicer. That's what you sound like, and you should punch yourself in the face.

This is a joke right?
by: zombie douche

I've read a couple comments that seemed real and helpful. All you zombie apocalypse douche bag kids are killing it though. Everyone one knows it take a silver blade dipped in holy water then stuck in Godzilla's butt for 39 minutes, pulled out and heated in the deep freeze for a week, then licked like a lollipop, and bam you have you a zombie apocalypse slicer. That's what you sound like, and you should punch yourself in the face.

shinwa swords
by: Anonymous

Is it wrong to joke.. Or Speculate about slicing zombies with a shinwa?.. I don't see anything wrong with that.. Walking dead being the most popular ADULT show ever on television gets people talking about slicing zombies.. There is nothing wrong with that.. It's just fun to speculate about.. I now have 10+ shinwas and am very happy with these products.. I have returned several of them because they have loose fittings so best to buy from a seller who checks them for you.. Either way I believe they are nice swords for the price and I have watched people slice all kinds of stuff up with them so I know they are functional.. Way better than all the rat tail tang junk on the market.. Again I endorse the shinwa brand as a fair quality low priced collectors sword..

shinwa swords
by: Anonymous

Is it wrong to joke.. Or Speculate about slicing zombies with a shinwa?.. I don't see anything wrong with that.. Walking dead being the most popular ADULT show ever on television gets people talking about slicing zombies.. There is nothing wrong with that.. It's just fun to speculate about.. I now have 10+ shinwas and am very happy with these products.. I have returned several of them because they have loose fittings so best to buy from a seller who checks them for you.. Either way I believe they are nice swords for the price and I have watched people slice all kinds of stuff up with them so I know they are functional.. Way better than all the rat tail tang junk on the market.. Again I endorse the shinwa brand as a fair quality low priced collectors sword..

This is a joke right?
by: zombie douche

I've read a couple comments that seemed real and helpful. All you zombie apocalypse douche bag kids are killing it though. Everyone one knows it take a silver blade dipped in holy water then stuck in Godzilla's butt for 39 minutes, pulled out and heated in the deep freeze for a week, then licked like a lollipop, and bam you have you a zombie apocalypse slicer. That's what you sound like, and you should punch yourself in the face.

A GENERAL OPPINION ABOUT KNIVES AND SWORDS
by: Daniel of Nebraska

Greetings, I am a fifty seven year old man, I served in the U.S. Navy in the 70s and 80s,I spent years over seas mostly in Asia and the South Pacific. During that time I studied Martial Arts, not in a school but with a privet Teacher, I was his only student. Because we didn't have all the time in the world, we practiced hard. My Teacher Told me to choose one weapon to master and so I choose the Japanese Katana and became very comfortable with handling it. I was just nineteen...
The rest of my back ground is history. Later on in my life I began to sell Swords and Knives, as I was selling bladed weapons people began asking questions about steel and the many types. I began giving advice to those who asked. Some steels are of course better than others. But which steel is best for a specific application, like hunting? or camping? or throwing? or fighting? or whittling?

The only answer I can give is trust someone's advice or learn by hit and miss. You do not have to spend a lot of money to get a really good knife. For instance Master Cutlery make very good knives, they make M-TECH, ELK RIDGE, TASK FORCE, FANTACY MASTER, and other brands. Their are many other good cutlery companies.

When it comes to swords the same thing applies, Their are many Forges creating a wide variety of various quality swords. Most Sword smiths use steels of the ten hundred series like 1045 carbon steel, 1050,1060, and up like 1085 and 1095. Swords that are made from these steels are mostly affordable and are mostly and truly fully functional.

Some good swords are Masahiro, they also make Ten Ryu. United Cutlery Black Swords are a surprise to me, they are of very good quality. Musashi makes some good swords. Everyone I hope loves Hanwie, I have a Paul Chen that I truly love. Now Kennesaw cutlery I believe makes Shinwa Swords I have several of these swords, mostly they are given a bad rap, I have worked these swords hard and I have no complaints, you'll have to trust me I do not abuse swords I use them as I was taught to use my sword, with great respect. Those of you without training need to stop complaining. it makes you look like a fool,if you use a sword you must maintain it and repair it, if you bend your blade just bend it back.

I told you a little about my self in hope you will trust what I say, and there is so much to say. but I can't go on forever....


Just remember if anyone tells you, that you can't get a good sword for a little money don't really know swords...

All it takes is a sturdy sword, the rest is training my friends. And it is not the sword that cuts. It is the warrior who wields it.

I will be surprised if most of you read the entire article.

YOUR FRIEND. DANIEL OF NEBRASKA.



Best post by daniel
by: Anonymous

Great post Daniel. Perhaps the best on the page!.. Thanks for a nice rational informative post!.. I love it when people with true experience tell you how it is...

I agree with everything you said.. even the bits about master cutlery.. You just need to be careful for the real cheep stuff but I have tons of M-tech knives that are great quality.

Who makes shinwa??.That seems to be a mystery.. I still can't figure that out for a fact yet but I think they are made by united cutlery or are a separate brand name owned by united cutlery..

And yes.. I did read the whole post..

Thanks again

Best post by daniel
by: Anonymous

Great post Daniel. Perhaps the best on the page!.. Thanks for a nice rational informative post!.. I love it when people with true experience tell you how it is...

I agree with everything you said.. even the bits about master cutlery.. You just need to be careful for the real cheep stuff but I have tons of M-tech knives that are great quality.

Who makes shinwa??.That seems to be a mystery.. I still can't figure that out for a fact yet but I think they are made by united cutlery or are a separate brand name owned by united cutlery..

And yes.. I did read the whole post..

Thanks again

just watch this
by: Brutalbrital

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDzVOHx9Jwc

Shinwa
by: Anonymous

Shinwa claims their swords to be authentic katana,
I have heard.
How authentic are they, truly?
From what else I have heard, they are forged from something other than tamahagane.
And when they say they are forged in the traditional method, they mean in the traditional method of Longquan. Not the traditional method as for katana in Japan.
You read correctly.
Longquan. A place in China.


Shinwa quality
by: Anonymous

My experience is that the shinwa swords are a good sword FOR THE PRICE THEY SELL FOR. Most of them are full tang and sturdy. I can't speak for the materials or forging techniques but I have lots of them and they look and feel really nice. I am a firm believer that a sword is only as good as it's user. If you try to chop down a tree with a sword like in the youtube video posted below you will obviously ruin the sword. Swords are for slicing soft stuff like fruits, veggies, and FLESH more than anything. If you took a $500 sword out and did the same thing seen in the youtube video below I believe you would destroy the sword all the same. I have tested shinwas on water melons and pumpkins. They worked exactly as they should.. Slicing and dicing like a hot knife in butter. Bottom line is.. Swords are NOT AXES and should not be used in such a manner. At $75-150 I think they are a fair product..

Shinwa quality
by: Anonymous

My experience is that the shinwa swords are a good sword FOR THE PRICE THEY SELL FOR. Most of them are full tang and sturdy. I can't speak for the materials or forging techniques but I have lots of them and they look and feel really nice. I am a firm believer that a sword is only as good as it's user. If you try to chop down a tree with a sword like in the youtube video posted below you will obviously ruin the sword. Swords are for slicing soft stuff like fruits, veggies, and FLESH more than anything. If you took a $500 sword out and did the same thing seen in the youtube video below I believe you would destroy the sword all the same. I have tested shinwas on water melons and pumpkins. They worked exactly as they should.. Slicing and dicing like a hot knife in butter. Bottom line is.. Swords are NOT AXES and should not be used in such a manner. At $75-150 I think they are a fair product..

GEEbuS
by: THX1138

For the price of these swords, you could buy one and take it outside and beat the holy crap out of it and see if it fails...I'd wear some hand, eye and face protection...just in case. Even good swords can fail.

They suck
by: Anonymous

I bought one and immediately refunded it, the tsuba was incredibly shaky and when I hit a branch with about a 1 inch diameter the blade bent, it was one of the double edged katanas

Strength
by: Anonymous

My masiharo katana has broke many cold steel kukris and smashed tons of bud k I have about a 1000$ masiharo

Shinwa Swords
by: MikeGray

Are they quality swords? It depends on what you want to use it for. If you just want to own a sword, take it into the back yard and cut up fruit, milk jugs full of water, bamboo Tameshigiri, sure. They are good enough for that, and perform well, but if you want an authentic Japanese handmade sword, as part of your collection, then no. Shinwa swords are mass produced in China if I'm not mistaken.

A sure sign of a swords quality is 1)the blade. It should be razor sharp, and should not have any nicks or scars on it. Also, cheap samurai swords will often have cracks in the boshi, or develop them later on. The boshi is where the blade tapers to the point.

2) balance. a well made sword will be extremely well balanced. You can put your finger on the habaki, the blade collar just above the tsuba. And hold it horizontal. The entire blade should be the same weight as the tsuka, or handle. It should balance perfectly on one finger. So, for the price, Shinwa swords are great to take into your back yard and practice. You get proficient and want to move up I'd suggest a sword made by Bugei. I wouldn't spend over a few hundred to 1k though, but they are extremely well made and are on par with a sword forged in Japan. Which, by the way, will cost you 3k or better. And besides, you cannot buy a handmade samurai sword in Japan, and leave to the US or another country with it. It's illegal. You have to get permission to take it out of the country.

Mostly agree with Mike But..
by: Paul

Hi Mike,

Just wanted to clarify a couple of points regarding, er - the point (pardon the pun)..

I think you meant the kissaki as the boshi is actually the part of the hamon on the kissaki. Most Shinwa swords are supposedly folded (I won't go into that here, as that would open up a whole new can of worms).. so don't have a hamon/boshi..

The kissaki is REALLY hard to make, a properly made and polished kissaki requires a master smith - most on the market at the low price point are either machine made or hand made approximations of a kissaki, some done better than others..

On point 2, the balance, this is not actually accurate.. The balance point can vary from a couple of inches to seven inches or more from the tsuba and still be quite functional.

It depends, some people like light swords, some like heavy cutters. The Katana is not usually a particularly light sword historically..

Not trying to criticize as what you say is mostly accurate otherwise, just wanted to clear that up. :)

shinwa swords
by: steve

I have owned many swords through the years. I have two Shinwa swords. Both are "damascus" While I can't complain much about the actual sword itself, It is good enough to practice with and cut softer things than tress and wire, but do not believe that it is truely folded metal. First, the pattern is too predominate and obvious. Second, for my own curiousity I sanded the blade in a small spot with fine sandpaper and sure enough, the pattern sands completely off. I still like the sword. Hell for the price what do you expect? Real damascus? Good sword for playing around don't just be too rough with it.

There's worse and there's better
by: AWaltz

I have one shinwa and a bunch of differant brands, and i can say i have NO expirience with shinwa's $200+ swords just one of there sub $100 pieces. I will say the reason why i have no $200+ shinwa's is because when spending that $ amount theres brands i trust more at that price, and as far as there "damascus" being not real i guess its what you call real... the one i have is definatly 100% folded not "fake" if you think its fake you dont know what youre talking about or have never actually looked at theres, i did remove the black/red coating that did make the grain pop but i think it looks better natural it really looks nice but if i was buying a shinwa for use i wouldnt get there damascus as i wouldnt buy ANY low priced damascus swords there functionally junk, my shinwa damascus is fairly soft it will cut milk jugs but the edge dents fairly easy. And as far as budK products they have decent and they have noveltie stuff to you just have to know what you are looking at there descriptions can be optimistic to be polite but they have some good stuff and there customer service is good too so stop ripping on BudK, i love thumbing thru the catalogs and always had good expiriences with them and there true swords site also. I do go elsewhere when looking for a higher end sword BUT one of my favorite swords and its one of my lowest priced swords i own is a Musashi miamoto 1060 best i got on sale at BudK for $75 its normally about $100. I will say in the $100 area i would buy and recommend the 1060 series Musashi's over the Shinwa because they are the bargain of the century there worth double what they cost. So as far as shinwa if you can find a good deal on a NON folded katana prob b a decent low priced cutter just save the folded or "damascus" for display there to soft and wont hold up under constant use but are real nice looking swords and are "functional" so you are displaying a "real" sword verses a s/s junk thats good for nothing and really for display most s/s slo's look like the cheap trinkets they are too so who wants that taking up room on there walls...Not me!

ok
by: Mike

Ok,btw... Cold Steel.Sharp and very flexible blades. IVE SEEN BETTER WRAPPINGS ON A $90 Musha WTF. SHINWA.GREAT SWORDS ALL AROUND I PREFER THEM OVER COLD STEEL TBH AT MOST DEGREES.HENWEI.FANTASTIC SWORDS BUT A BIT OVERATED IN MY OPINION.RONIN. CAN NEVER GO WRONG.THEY ARE ALL AWESOME, THIER QUALITY IS EXTRAORDINARILY SIMILAR PRICE VARIES ON BRAND.

I OWN 6 SHINWAS,4 COLDSTEELS AND 4 HANWEIS AS WELL.BEAUTIFUL SWORDS.SHINWA REAL DAMASCUS,I SCRATCHED OF THE COATING WITH SANDPAPER,USED A BRIGHT LED FLASHLIGHT AND I STILL SAW THE WAVY PATTERN.

YOU COLD STEEL FANBOYS NEED TO JUSY STFU AND ADMIT THAT SHINWAS CAN MAKE AN EQUIVALENT SWORD AT HALF THE F'''''G PRICE AND STOP USING YOUR MIXED BUTTHURT EMOTIONS TO DEGRADE FANS OF OTHER SWORDS OMFG FANBOYIST OPINIONS DONT MAKE THE MAN IT JUST SHOWS YOU LACK SELF RESPECT AND RESPECT FOR OTHERS WHILE SHOWING HOW IGNORANTLY YOUR CHILDISH SELFISH OPINIONS ARE TO MAKE UP FOR THE P'''S THAT YOUL LACK.SO MAKE PEACE.

DO ITTT,JUST DOOOO IT!!!!!!

I buy Shinwa day ago and it great.
by: Lifei Xue

I buy shinwa day ago and it nice say least. I in shaolin kung fu and wushu whole life. I use many weapon and shinwa I use practice, so I buy new Damascus dragon shinwa other day and test on tree 2 inch, and it cut single hit. I take apart it and it full tang, I tell you now, it no matter if you but $20,000 or $20 katana, because it not blade, it fighter who use it. Evation one thing we learn so you attack me with katana, and I tie hand behind back, and you never hit me because way I train and tought, I win many competition and not even fight, just because other fighter tired or weak because he not hit.

Shinwa light hard object cutting, but still cut off arm or head and that what matter.

Here advice, if you against object you know brake sword, and you not want blade damage, block with blade back or dodge, then you come round strike.

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